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Concern over import on Belarusian construction materials market

Economy 17.10.2014 | 19:35
MINSK, 17 October (BelTA) – The high share of imports on the Belarusian market of construction materials is a reason for concern. Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich made the relevant statement as he visited the Belarusian construction materials manufacturer OAO Keramin on 17 October. A government conference was held at premises of the company to discuss the state of affairs in the Belarusian construction materials industry, BelTA has learned.

Mikhail Myasnikovich remarked that Belarusian manufacturers of construction materials export quite a lot of their output (60-75% in some enterprises), yet the share of Belarus-made construction materials on the home market is only 52%, with imports occupying the rest of the market.

The head of government said he believes that making quality construction materials in sufficient amounts is not enough at present. “You should do better, work with more expensive materials because consumers vote with their money and they need to have a choice,” he said.

Mikhail Myasnikovich pointed out the low profitability of manufacturing construction materials: “The profitability of the construction materials industry stands at 7-8% or 12% at best. It is not enough for expanded reproduction”. According to the Prime Minister, Belarusian manufacturers of construction materials should work harder with their prices and quality as well as the product range in order to see better payoffs from their investments spent on modernization.

Yevgeny Kostyukov, OAO Keramin Deputy Director General for Manufacturing and Marketing, told media how the company was dealing with the problems the government had outlined. The company ships the bulk of its export to the Russian Federation, yet market diversification is being taken care of. The first batch of merchandise has been shipped to the USA. Relations with Canada are being rethought using new approaches. New agreements have been signed. In the near future totally different amounts of the first batches of new products will be shipped, noted Yevgeny Kostyukov.

OAO Keramin is a top manufacturer in the Commonwealth of Independent States in terms of output. The company makes 18 million m2 of ceramic tiles and 1,500 units of sanitary ceramics per annum. The company exports over 80% of the make to the CIS, Europe, and Central Asia. In January-July 2014 the company exported $80 million worth of merchandise. OAO Keramin comprises three factories that make sanitary ceramics, ceramic tiles, ceramic stones and bricks.

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