Cement sales growth in the Philippines this year will likely slow as demand boosts due to repairs in the wake of storms in 2009 and front-loaded state infrastructure projects ahead of the March 26-May 10 election ban taper off, an industry official yesterday said.
Sales will likely increase by 4%-6% this year versus the faster 10% growth posted in 2009, Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) President Ernesto M. Ordoñez told reporters. This means the industry could sell up to 15.95 million tons of the product by yearend, based on the 2009 figure.
"It will be slower because election spending [sic] is over and [so are projects to repair damage caused by tropical storm] Ondoy," Mr. Ordoñez said.
The 2010 performance, however, will still be better than the 1%-2% average growth seen in the past, he added.
Already, the industry had enjoyed a 15.7% increase in sales in the first quarter, Mr. Ordoñez said. But this double-digit feat will be offset by weak sales in the later quarters which are expected to compare poorly to the same period in 2009, he said.
Earlier, Holcim Philippines, Inc. which claims to lead in the market, had likewise projected slower growth in sales for 2010.
Holcim Philippines’ new chief operating officer, Roland van Wijnen, said the company’s sales growth in 2010 will be slower than the 20.3% growth to P21.9 billion recorded last year.
This comes as productivity in its Mindanao plants has been hurt by rotating blackouts there, spurring the firm to consider price hikes in the second half of the year.