Indonesian cement demand grew eight per cent in the first five months of this year and is likely to grow by a similar amount next year as the sector gradually recovers from last year’s slowdown, an industry ministry official said on Wednesday.
The figure is higher than earlier estimates from analysts and industry experts who had forecast cement sales would rise more than five per cent this year, compared with 1.8 per cent growth last year, if the government speeds up infrastructure projects.
"In the first five months of 2007 consumption grew by eight per cent," Agus Tjahjana, secretary general of the industry ministry, told a news conference. "For 2008, we’re looking at eight per cent demand growth."
Indonesia’s largest cement maker, PT Semen Gresik Tbk , estimates the country’s domestic cement consumption will rise by 6-7 per cent in 2008.
Indonesia’s cement industry was hit last year by high interest rates, which put a brake on the construction sector.
Separately on Wednesday, a senior official from Indonesia’s second largest cement maker, PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk, said the company had a domestic market share of 31 per cent in May.
Indocement, which has a market capitalisation of about US$2.3bn, is controlled by HeidelbergCement .
Semen Gresik has a 45 per cent market share and sold 14.34Mt last year out of total industry sales of 32.1Mt.