South African cement sales rose impressively by 16.7% in the first three months of 2007 compared with the first three months of last year, the Cement and Concrete Institute (CNCI) data showed.
At the end of March 2007, cement sales for the 12 months were reported up to 14.759Mt from the 14.569Mt recorded in February 2007.
This increase of 1.3% was down on the 3.5% increase recorded at the end of December 2006 to a moving annual total of 14.257Mt.
Exports, however, declined by 6% in the 12 months ending March 2007 to 146,678 tons. This leaves exports accounting for just 0.99% of the total regional sales.
"While exports have been around 5% of the total sales before it is less than 1% now, with local demand a major reason for this decline," an industry expert explained.