The Manufacture of Cement, Lime and Plaster in Malawi
Cement products are inextricably bound to the construction sector and are core building blocks of Malawi’s socio-economic development agenda. The Malawian market for cement and related products is small by global and regional standards, but demand for cement products is expected to increase. The competitiveness of the local cement industry continues to be undermined by the high cost of production while cheap imports, which have flooded the Malawian market during the past decade are a significant threat to local manufacturers.
Malawi has the raw materials, clinker and cement production capacity to meet local requirements, but continues to import substantial volumes of lime, clinker and cement. Local distributors and builders say it is often cheaper and easier to source cement from neighbouring countries due to the inadequacy of distribution networks. The September announcement of new import duties follows calls for anti-dumping regulations based on concerns of job losses in the sector. Government has said that cement import licences have been granted to supplement the local production deficit and promote competitive pricing.
During the past five years, Malawi’s cement industry has attracted billions of kwacha of investments including plant upgrades, investment in training and development, and a plant to provide clinker locally to producers.
This report on the manufacture of cement, lime and plaster in Malawi includes comprehensive information on the state and size of the sector and the factors that influence it, including regulations and the state of infrastructure and imports. There are profiles of four companies including Lafarge, a subsidiary of the multinational LafargeHolcim Group, which is Malawi’s largest cement manufacturer and distributor, and Shayona, whose operations include limestone quarrying, clinker production and cement manufacturing. The other companies profiled are CPL (Cement Products Ltd) and Terrastone.