Industry Dashboard for Jan. 9, 2012
The national unemployment rate is declining, consumer confidence is rising, and stocks on the Home Channel Stock Roundup appear generally in the top right quadrant of the grid.
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Siam Cement sets its sights on U.S.
The Siam Cement Group (SCG), the second largest company in Thailand and the country’s largest cement supplier, is planning to begin exporting building materials once again to the United States, according to an article in the Bangkok Post.
Kan Trakulhoon, president and CEO of the industrial conglomerate, made his remarks during the Jan. 4 opening of the BoI Fair, a green technology event being held in Thailand this month. He said that a team has been assigned to prepare the group’s re-entry into the U.S. market after positive economic signs. These indicators include a rebound in the U.S. stock exchange and the 7% growth in housing sales during November 2011.
The United States was once one of SCG’s biggest export markets, accounting for 20% of shipments in 2006. The company even found it profitable to ship bulky products like cement to the U.S. West Coast.
But demand dropped sharply during the housing bust, and the United States now represents only 1% of SCG’s shipments. Kan observed that the U.S. economy has clearly bottomed out, with a steady recovery expected from now on.
"We see an opportunity to boost petrochemical sales there, especially high value-added products that are competitive in terms of cost," he said. SCG also remains strong in the building materials market, Trakulhoon said, pointing to the Cotto roofing products for sale at Home Depot stores.
Exports make up 29% of SCG’s revenue. Taken together, Asian countries make up 40% of that figure.
SCG is comprised of 100 companies divided into five business core groups: chemicals, paper, cement, building materials and distribution.
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Caulk & Sealant, by the numbers
Dollar sales and unit sales of the caulk and sealant category both showed year-over-year gains, according to consumer research from the Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group. But unit volume is down compared with two years ago. The warehouse home centers dominated — nearly three of every five tubes of caulk — but have trended down in the past 12 months.
In the past 12 months, more than two-thirds (67%) of caulk and sealant has been sold in the form of a cartridge to be used in a caulk gun. A squeeze tube was the second-most common packaging (17.1%).
The 45-to-54-year age group is the most active in terms of caulk and sealant purchases over the last three years. Older consumers tend to be slightly more active than two years ago, while younger consumers tend to be slightly less active.
Brand and features are growing in importance, in terms of how consumers in a store decide which product to purchase. More than just about any category, “close to home” factors heavily in “reason for retailer shopped.”
Methodology: NPD data are based on monthly tracking of more than 30 home improvement-related
categories and 30,000 opt-in consumers.
*2011 data reflects the period December 2010 through November 2011.
**Key: WHC: warehouse home center; MM: mass merchant; DS: department store; SS: specialty store; HS: hardware store
*** More than one answer accepted