Home ›› 21 Nov 2022 ›› Front

Ceramic industry booming as demand on the rise

Rafikul Islam
21 Nov 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 21 Nov 2022 00:15:04
Ceramic industry booming as demand on the rise

Before, people used to go for all the basic materials when it came to building their dream apartment or building and installing all the necessary interior décor. But the trend has changed.

Nowadays, many people wish to go the extra mile and use better looking materials made of ceramic, porcelain and/or natural marble tiles to make the flat look more modern and on par with their lifestyle that is seeing better days with their income rising amid national economic growth.

Ceramic tableware, pottery, tiles, sanitary ware, insulators and other products have become very popular in recent times and their demand in both domestic and international markets has increased, according to industry insiders.

These products are now being used in residential and commercial buildings, offices, mosques, educational intuitions, hospitals, as well as other establishments.

Seeing the industry’s potential and growth in Bangladesh, six foreign companies have already jointly invested in the country’s ceramic sector.

According to Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA), the demand for the ceramic products has gone up by 22 per cent in the last five years. The amount of total investment in the sector currently stands at $1.58 billion.

A total of 71 companies invested Tk 15,356.50 crore in FY2021-22 in Bangladesh. Of them, 20 tableware companies invested Tk 3,174.25 crore, 33 tiles companies Tk 10,151.86 crore and 18 sanitary ware companies invested Tk 2,030.39 core, showed BCMEA data.

The data also said the country earned Tk 385.21 crore by exporting these products in the same period. The sector gave Tk 3,500 crore in revenue to the government exchequer and value addition was 65 per cent.

Domestic market growth

Bangladesh’s first ceramic factory Tajma Ceramic Industries, which made porcelain tableware, was established in Bogura in 1958. Primarily, this small company manufactured three-four types of cups but now the factory has grown big and produces around 70 types of tableware.

Pakistan Ceramic Industries, which is now Peoples Ceramic Industries, started production in 1962, Monno Ceramics was established in 1985, Bengal Fine Ceramics in 1986 and Shinepukur Ceramics in 1997. With these, the local industry had started developing gradually.

The foreign investment, however, came through for the first time with Fu-Wang Ceramic Industry Limited in 1995. RAK Ceramics was incorporated in 1998 but its commercial production started in 2000.

At present, according to BCMEA, more than 5 lakh people are directly and indirectly involved in this sector. The sector’s production growth has increased by 200 per cent in the last 10 years.

However, according to a report of the Business Research Company, the global ceramics market’s size has grown to $114.11 billion in 2022 from $107.72 billion in 2021.

It also projected that the global market’s size will reach $145.93 billion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 6.34 per cent.

The companies in Bangladesh are meeting nearly 90 per cent of the domestic demand for household goods. Use of modern technology has boosted diversified production and led to significant market growth, according to industry people.

Monno, RAK, Shinepukur, DBL, Akij, Fu-Wang, Stella, ABC, CBC, FARR, Dacca, Mir, X, Sheltech, Fresh, Ariane, Excellent, and BHL are the most popular companies that hold major shares in the country’s market.

RAK Ceramics (Bangladesh) Company Secretary Muhammad Shahidul Islam told The Business Post that their company currently produces over 1,000 types of ceramic products.

“Most of our buyers are from the middle and upper-middle classes. We have taken a new project near our current factory in Gazipur as the sector has huge potential and demand is rising here and abroad. Production will start at the new factory by 2025,” he said.

Foreign investment

Fu-Wang, RAK, BHL Ceramics, Star Porcelain, Southeast Union Ceramic Industry Ltd and Sun Power Ceramics have already invested around Tk 1,950.07 crore in the country’s ceramic sector since 1995.

Over the years, many companies have also come from China and Dubai and invested in Gazipur, Habiganj, Khulna districts. These companies are producing ceramic tableware, tiles and sanitary ware.

Shahidul said, “There is no difference between our products and the imported ones in terms of quality. However, our products cost at least 20-30 per cent less than the imported ones.”

Talking to The Business Post, BCMEA President Md Shirajul Islam Mollah said Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world where there is a big domestic market of around 16.38 million people.

“This sector has huge investment potential. Cheap labour, skilled manpower, government policy support, political stability and perfect geographical position for producing and supplying all types of ceramics products are bringing in foreign investment,” he said.

He added that Bangladesh currently exports ceramic products to more than 50 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russian, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Singapore.

However, there are still some challenges, including gas and power supply shortages. Industry people hoped these will be resolved soon.

The BCMEA president said the gas and power crisis should be resolved as soon as possible for the sake of the industry. “Besides, we need a 20 per cent cash incentive, instead of the present 10 per cent, on the export of all types of ceramic products to boost the sector further.”

Ceramic Expo from Nov 24

Meanwhile, the BCMEA is set to organise the third edition of the CERAMIC EXPO Bangladesh- 2022 from November 24 to 26 at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka.

The three-day-long international exhibition will bring local and international manufacturers, exporters and suppliers of ceramics into a single platform to showcase their achievements earned through creative entrepreneurship and hard work.

BCMEA President Shirajul Islam said the event is expected to be attended by representatives of more than 300 global brands, manufacturers and suppliers of ceramic raw materials and machineries from 20 countries.

“The expo will create ample scope for foreign ceramic manufacturers, buyers and investors to explore and invest in the emerging ceramic industry of Bangladesh,” he added.