Sales of cement increased 7.55% to 5.214Mt during the first four months of the year, compared with 4.848Mt during the same period of 2010. For April, cement deliveries reached close to 1.5Mt, close to the October 2009 record. At the base of the upward trend lies an increased rate of self-construction and social housing as well as the resumption of construction work after a period of inclement weather, according to Ahmed AA Bouhaouli, deputy director of the Professional Association of Cement.
By region, Greater Casablanca, remains the top performer with sales rising by 7.1%, from 729,026t to 780,798t YoY. The same rate of growth was noted in Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaers, albeit to a lower tonnage of 388,602t. In Tangier-Tetouan, cement consumption increased by 6.4 per cent as 552,399t were delivered while cement consumption in Fez-Boulemane rocketed from 184,538t to 262,912t, up 42.5%. The Meknes market saw cement demand advance by 5.6% to 302,552t. However, Marrakech-Tensift-Haouz registered an 8.8% contraction to 537,496t while a slight drop was also recorded in Doukkala-Abda with sales declining by 4% to 282,721t.
Recent investments in the industry by all cement companies will see capacity rise rapidly to 23.5Mta by the end of the year. Despite the recent positive news of increases in cement sales, this is expected to lead to 8Mta of surplus capacity unless market growth accelerates further.