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Ceramic Industry in Indonesia in 2015

Ceramic sales in Indonesia are projected to decline to IDR 25 trillion (approx. USD 1,8 bil­lion) in 2015 from total sales worth IDR 36 trillion in 2014.

Elisa Sinaga, Chairman of the Indonesian Ceramic Industry Association (ASAKI), said that 2015 was a year full of challenges for the domestic ceramic industry due to Indonesia’s slowing economic growth (particularly the slowdown of the nation’s property sector), high gas prices, higher minimum wages, and the fragile rupiah (having depreciated around 11 % against the US dollar in 2015). As such, production costs have risen sharply while ceramic producers are not in a pos­ition to raise prices (with ceramic demand having declined amid the country’s sluggish economic growth). Besides higher minimum wages, the higher gas price has a major impact as costs of gas account for around 30 % of total ceramic production costs. The depreciation of the rupiah adds trouble as about 90 % of raw materials for ceramic production (chemicals and clay) need to be imported from abroad. Indonesia’s ceramic tiles production cap­acity has expanded by 7,7 % to 560 Mm2 in 2015. Since 2011 companies have been eager to expand production capacity as demand was rising sharply. However, when new plants were opened and became oper­ational ceramic demand was already in decline, implying additional capacity cannot be used. While at the beginning of the year ceramic producers were still operating at normal rates, production started to slow markedly from March/April onward; several ceramic plants have stopped production altogether. Regarding forecasts for the ceramic industry in 2016, Sinaga expects economic conditions to remain somewhat similar to conditions this year. However, optimal government spending and a successful push for infrastructure development would surely impact positively on Indonesia’s ceramic industry. Another positive factor is that production costs will be cut due to government support. In a bid to support domestic industries, the government will lower energy prices for labour-intensive industries as part of its third economic stimulus package unveiled on 7 October 2015.

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