Indonesia’s domestic cement consumption grew 11.5 per cent in 2008 from a year earlier to 38.09Mt, data from the country’s Cement Industry Association showed on Wednesday.
However, cement consumption for December edged 0.1 percent lower to 3.13Mt as construction slowed ahead of year-end holidays and on weaker demand areas outside Java, the data showed.
Some analysts had said the strong cement sales growth in 2008 was largely supported by higher demand from commodity producing areas, supported by high commodity prices earlier in 2008.
Indonesia is home to some of the world’s top miners and major producers of key commodities such as coal, palm oil, rubber, tin and cocoa.
PT Semen Gresik Tbk, the country’s largest cement maker, saw a 3.7 per cent rise in its domestic cement sales to 1.43Mt but recorded a 42 per cent drop in its exports, resulting in a 1 percent rise in its total sales volume to 1.47Mt.
Both Gresik and its main rival, PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk (INTP.JK), had said they expected Indonesia’s cement demand would fall in 2009 because of tougher economic conditions and a slowdown in GDP growth.
Indonesia’s economic growth is expected to slow to five per cent in 2009 compared to estimated growth of 6.2 per cent last year.