Indonesia’s largest cement maker, PT Semen Gresik Tbk , expects domestic cement demand to increase to 35Mt next year from an estimated 33-34Mt this year, a senior company official said on Friday.
Gresik’s president director, Dwi Soetjipto, also said the company is considering investments in some countries in the Middle East or South Africa and exporting about 10 per cent of its output to those countries.
"We are ready to compete in the global market. We plan to increase our market presence there but are still keeping our dominance in the domestic market," Soetjipto told reporters.
"Looking forward, we are considering investing in countries such as South Africa or Middle Eastern countries. We will, however, maintain our domestic market share at 45 per cent."
Indonesia’s cement sales grew by 6.8 per cent in the first nine months of 2007, but during that period Gresik’s cement sales only rose by 1.8 per cent.
The country’s industry ministry had estimated cement demand to increase by eight per cent next year, as the industry rebounded from a slowdown in 2006 when it was hit by a rise in interest rates and inflation.
Analysts expect cement companies to get a boost from increasing demand from infrastructure projects and the housing market as interest rates have come down to 8.25 percent from 12.75 percent early last year.
Indonesia is investing heavily in toll roads, ports, airports and power plants in an effort to boost economic growth.