Cement sales in El Salvador during the 1H11 rose by 4%, but are not expected to increase much during the rest of the year, according to Holcim El Salvador’s CEO Ricardo Chavez Capparroso. “"We are seeing a slight recovery since February of this year until last month, about four per cent compared to last year,” said the executive.
Cement sales fell sharply in 2009-10 and Holcim confirmed its deliveries fell by 40%. The 2009 political issue, the stagnation of the economy for several years before 2008 and the international economic make for a “perfect storm”. "All that came together to form the perfect storm, where one of the sectors hardest hit is the construction industry," Chavez Capparroso said.
Not only the domestic market was affected, but also export sales contracted considerably. The CEO confirmed that the sales made to three Central American countries also came down and still have not recovered. "The exports that we previously made to Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua were also suspended, because just as these countries had their own crisis, they had their own market downturn, which does affect us significantly," he added.
However, he is quietly confident that the environment will improve. He stressed that the recovery process has begun but that it will be slow and moderate. "We see prospects for the rest of the year. We hope that Honduras and Nicaragua have some recovery, this may have to wait until 2012," he concluded.