Rand weakening against US Dollar knocks PPC Zimbabwe exports

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Zimbabwe: According to Southern Eye, PPC Zimbabwe's cement exports in the first half of its 2015 fiscal year, which ended on 31 March 2015, took a knock due to the weakening of the South African Rand against the US Dollar.

PPC said that exports from its Zimbabwe operations accounted for only 10% of cement sales volumes, although local sales were encouraging. It said that cement volumes in Zimbabwe grew by 9% in the first half of its 2015 fiscal year due to new marketing strategies implemented during the period.

PPC Zimbabwe's managing director Njombo Lekula confirmed that exports had fallen. "In terms of business, we are doing fairly very well, but there has been a bit of a slowdown from last year. However, performance internally in the country is still very good and that is something we can be happy with," said Lekula. "Obviously, on exports it wasn't great, partly because of the strengthening of the US Dollar and capacity in other surrounding areas. To export has been a bit difficult this year. Looking forward, we think the second half of the year will be very good as usual. We normally do very well in the last three months of our financial year, which ends in September 2015. I'm quite happy with the PPC Zimbabwe performance at this point in time."

PPC Zimbabwe is constructing a US$75m, 680,000t/yr capacity cement plant in Harare. The plant is expected to start production in the middle of 2016. The group recently unveiled an adjustment to its brand name for Zimbabwe and is now trading as PPC Zimbabwe.