Siam Cement sets its sights on U.S.

BY Brae Canlen

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


Channel analysis
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.

Product attributes
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%).

Demographic analysis
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. 

Purchase motivators
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


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May-19-2012 09:50 am

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To what extent will your office be impacted by March Madness, which tips off this week?

An around-the-garage roundup

BY HBSDealer Staff

For this month’s roundup, HCN took exit 10 off the Turnpike for a visit to Ken’s New Jersey Garage, the setting of the fastest new product show on the Internet. But take your time reviewing this month’s products in print.

Bosch Daredevil framing blade
Designed to satisfy the framer who appreciates fast, clean cuts, the Bosch Daredevil circular saw framing blades combine the benefits of thin-kerf blades with an extra-hard steel play. Hence the slogan: Starts sharper, stays sharper. Micrograin carbide teeth resist impact damage. The growing Daredevil family also includes spade and auger bits. A 10-in. and 12-in. blade are coming in early 2012. The Daredevil sells for about $10. The 7 ¼-in. blade shown here sells for about $10. (

Johnny Jolter plunger
From K-CO Products, the Johnny Jolter Professional Plunger draws water into its large chamber, allowing the plunger arm to work its brand of magic. The 3-step value proposition is very clear on its packaging: one push, no mess, toilet clear. It even disassembles for easy cleaning. The made-in-the-USA product sells for about $30.

Coast HP7 LED Flashlight
Flashlights continue to get better and brighter. Here’s a particularly bright new product from Portland, Ore.-based Coast Products. The 5.5-in. aluminum casing projects 251 lumens of light with a beam distance of 643 ft. in high mode. But it’s not only bright; the HP7 has a Pure Beam Focusing System and Fingertip Speed Focus Control. By moving the front bezel back and forth, the user controls the breadth of the beam from spotlight to wide angle. It comes with four AAA batteries and sells for about $50. (

Irwin Torpedo Level
Irwin’s 250 Series Magnetic Torpedo Level has more than a few handy features, starting with rare earth magnets allowing for hands-free steel construction work. A cutaway section along the edge allows a clear view into the vial when the level is in the plumb position. In addition, a handy yellow button pops out to provide a reading for quarter-inch-per-foot drainage inclines. The 9-in. tool sells for about $25. (

Channellock 18 ‘N 1 Screwdriver
Packaged with eight double-sided drill bits that are stored in a compartment in the handle of the screwdriver, this hand tool has a high-torque grip bolstered by a ratcheting-action handle. The screwdriver comes equipped with slotted Phillips, Torx, hex and nutdriver bits — 18 different sizes total (some bit heads perform double duty). The Code Blue 18 ‘N 1 with the distinctive red and Chanellock Blue handle sells for about $19. (

Grime Boss hand cleaning wipes
Here’s a product for every garage — Grime Boss Heavy Duty Hand Cleaning Wipes. The active ingredient is a moisturizing formula known as Pro-Klean. Not just a wet paper towel, the Grime Boss is designed with a tough scrubbing side that removes stuck-on residue and a smooth gentle side for cleaning hands and arms. The “2 in 1 Action Scrub” is tough enough for the big messes, and it also smells of citrus. The resealable package shown here has 10 wipes. A package of 10 10-packs sells for about $20. (

Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue
Some super glues have a tendency to drip all over the place, including on the fingers. But Loctite’s Ultra Gel Control Super Glue’s no-drip gel formula combined with the “Control” applicator brings ease-of-use to new heights in this category. The formula includes the impact resistance of pure rubber to provide a more durable bond, according to the company. The Henkel product sells for about $4 for a 4-gram bottle. (


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May-02-2012 02:49 pm

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