Cement importers said a voluntary investigation launched by the Trade Department failed to determine the real reason for rising cement imports and validate the claims of injury from local manufacturers.
A position paper submitted by five major cement importers—NGC Land Corp., Philcement Corp., Pabaza Import and Export Inc., All Asia Countertrade Inc. and Fortem Cement Corp. cited a justification for importing more cement.
“Except for 2016 and 2017, cement imports to the Philippines were minimal. The increase in imports in 2016 to 2017 was due to a surge in demand and the lack of supply capacity of manufacturers that even they (manufacturers) brought in substantial quantities of cement and clinker,” the companies said in a formal response letter to the department’s motu proprio investigation.
Cement shortfall in 2016 and 2017 stood at 2.47 million metric tons and 2.98 million MT, respectively. Clinker imports in 2017, meanwhile, hit 2.87 million MT and 4.44 million MT in 2017.