Indonesia’s cement sales rose 18.6 percent in January from a year ago as the sector showed signs of recovery on the back of a pick-up in construction, data from the Indonesian Cement Association showed on Tuesday.
Cement sales were hurt by an economic slowdown in early 2006, but a strong recovery in the fourth quarter put the industry’s overall annual growth at 1.8 per cent last year, higher than analysts’ expectations of flat growth.
Analysts expect cement sales in the world’s fourth most populous nation to expand five per cent this year, from 32.1Mt last year, as Jakarta refurbishes its ailing public facilities like ports, railways and toll roads, to support growth.
The data, provided by Indonesia’s largest cement maker, PT Semen Gresik Tbk , showed domestic sales in January were at 2.66Mt, while the company’s sales grew 17.5 per cent YoY to 1.2Mt.
Including exports, state-owned Gresik’s sales climbed 17.8 per cent to 1.35Mt.
Semen Gresik expects cement consumption in Southeast Asia’s largest economy to expand by 15 per cent next year.
The healthy monthly increase comes less than a year after monthly cement consumption in Indonesia fell 4.7 per cent YoY in June as the industry was hurt by a government decision in late 2005 to crank up domestic fuel prices.