At the end of last month, it was seen that Mexican cement groups had failed to fill the export quotas allowed these days on trade with the US since demand from the US construction industry is down.
The end of March was also the end of the first annual period within a three-year 3% import duty deal on a maximum of 3Mt of Mexican cement. Every firm offered its own quota will have fallen roughly 10% short, according to Manuel Milan, director-general of Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua.
The US housing construction sector saw demand fall by 16.6% in January 2007 compared to December 2006, the worst dip in 13 years (YoY the dip was even higher, reaching 20.1%). At the end of this three-year deal, import duty will be wiped out altogether (set to occur on April 1, 2009).