Impact of Corona Virus in Cement sector
KAROBAR CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, Apr 30, 2020
310

The year 2076 B.S was not good for cement sales in Nepal due to high competition between cement
companies and because of some other factors, cement sales were increasing at a slow pace. At
the end of the year, cement sales in Nepal was just trying to grow for this season, and
companies were about to reach their target but suddenly the whole world gets affected by Corona
virus (COVID 19) which included Nepal too.
Although COVID 19 was first seen in Yuhan china in Dec 2019, its first case in Nepal was
detected only on January 13. From that time, Nepal has started and is still working to minimize
its impact on Nepal. Among all the preventive measures taken by the government of Nepal, one
which has adversely affected the cement sectors is lockdown from March 24.
Because of the lockdown, the construction sites are highly affected. Borders, states, cities, local
levels are locked. The whole country is locked down. Experts predict that the construction sector
will be affected for a long time even after the period of this lockdown is over. Most of the big
construction companies have a large number of laborers on a daily wage basis. But due to
the government's decision of lockdown and fear of COVID 19, most of the laborers are already back to
their homes. There will be a shortage of labor which will be the biggest challenge for the coming few
quarters and there can also be a labor crisis.
In the last two years, Nepal was also able to introduce big FDIs, especially in the cement sector. After
Hongshi cement has started its production, Nepal was almost able to control clinker import
from India but for other raw material like coal, fly ash, Gypsum, companies are still dependent
on India and other countries. While borders are locked it will be difficult for that cement
companies that have low storage of raw materials.
As there is a risk of coronavirus on job sites as well, construction companies are in a dilemma
whether to continue work with safety or to completely stop the work. Because of the uncertainty of
this pandemic situation until now, companies and experts can not anticipate the immediate
losses by the impact of COVID19 in the Cement sector. While, up the season for cement companies is
monsoon, which is coming near and sales manager from different companies said that this
coming year won’t be good for cement sales. After lockdown only those construction sites
whose work is in progress order cement for a few weeks, but for the rest of the year, there will
be a problem because there might be only a few new constructions.
Thus, because of this pandemic situation, construction sectors may have to bear a huge loss
due to the above-mentioned factors. So cement companies and sales managers who are an integral
part of the construction sector should be mentally prepared for this sureshot loss. Moreover, they
should plan for the upliftment of the business without panicking in this lockdown period.