In May apparent cement consumption (domestic sales plus imports) in Brazil increased 27.7 per cent YoY to 4.6Mt, according to the country’s cement association, SNIC. The sharp rise reflects the 10-day nationwide truckers’ strike in May 2018 that damaged economic activity and saw domestic cement sales down by 0.9Mt. Sales were up 30.5 per cent in the key southeast market to 2.262Mt, while the northeast – the country’s second-largest market – reported a 23 per cent advance to 0.889Mt. In the south sales were up 22.1 per cent to 0.724Mt and in the central-eastern region there was a 39.5 per cent increase to 0.53Mt. The country’s smallest market, the north, saw offtake up 12.4 per cent to 0.19Mt.
In the first five months of 2019, apparent consumption in the South American country advanced 5.7 per cent YoY to 21.6Mt. Sales growth in the central-eastern part of the country was the strongest at 12.4 per cent to a volume of 2.313Mt, but the southeast also delivered robust growth of 5.1 per cent to 10.397Mt. In the northeast offtake advanced 4.4 per cent to 4.38Mt while in the south sales advanced 5.9 per cent to 3.63Mt. In the north sales edged up 1.2 per cent to 0.921Mt.
SNIC has attributed the latest market expansion to high levels of activity in the real estate sector that have offset the weak performance of infrastructure projects due to low public investment.”The number of new real estate launches is on the rise and [this] is serving as a foundation for the growth of the cement industry,” said SNIC president, Paulo Camillo.
“On the other hand, we still don’t see any movement in the infrastructure sector capable of leveraging cement consumption. Our expectation is that with the approval of the pension reform, the economy will be more positive, enabling a new cycle of growth,” he concluded.
Exports fell by 20 per cent in May 2019 to 8000t from 10,000t in May 2018, while in the first five months of 2019, overseas sales dropped 10.9 per cent to 41,000t from 46,000t in the 5M19.