Philippine cement sales seen growing faster

Philippine cement sales seen growing faster
Published: 13 August 2010

This year Philippine cement sales could grow faster than a forecast of just 4%-6% given the surge seen in the first half and strong demand expected in the remaining months due to storm damage repairs, an industry official said on Wednesday.

Already, sales volume in the first half was roughly 12% more than year-ago levels, Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) President Ernesto M. Ordoñez said on the sidelines of another business group’s meeting. "A lot of this was due to the elections. [Officials] put their projects in the first quarter [in order to beat the election ban]," Mr. Ordoñez said.

He added that repair work in the wake of expected strong storms could drive sales towards the end of the year. "We don’t think [full-year growth] will be 12% like the first half’s, but the 6% forecast could increase if typhoons hit again," Mr. Ordoñez said.

If so, the industry could sell more than 15.95Mt this year, based on 2009 figures.

Locally made cement accounts for nearly all the cement sold in the country, although the group has warned that this share could be threatened if tariffs on cement and clinker are kept at 0%.