Bolivian cement producer Coboce is raising its output from 27,500 bags per day to 33,000. To meet this demand, the company is importing 40,000t of clinker from Argentina.
The Bolivian cement market is currently undersupplied, leading to price rises. Coboce is building a second plant, which it expects to quadruple its current production levels to 121,000 bags per day. When it comes online, it will initially produce 55,000 bags, with levels stepped up to 88,000 bags per day and finally, to its full production two years later. Coboce manager José Manuel Ramirez reported that it has invested US$71m in the project. Its output will primarily serve the Cochabamba market, but deliveries further afield will also be part of the plant’s sales area. Last year, Cochabamba demand stood at 449,000t, following a rising trend in the past three years.
Meanwhile, the industry has come under fire from the government, which claims that in La Paz, Oruro and Chuquisaca, a market monopoly exists. In its report, the state agency Autoridad de Fiscalización y Control Social de Empresas said that "mergers, acquisitions and installations by factory Soboce Emisa (Oruro), El Puente (Tarija), Warnes (Santa Cruz) and part of Fancesa and Ready Mix companies (concrete mix) and Arid San Roque, have responded to a business strategy aimed at greater control of the market. " The document signed by Oscar Camara said that "as a result of this conduct business, the degree of competition in all departments of the country have been significantly reduced." It stated that it will find “a solution” to these “distortions”.
Source: Opinion and La Prensa