The Paraguayan government will ease administrative procedures for cement imports from neighboring countries in an effort to meet domestic demand, local paper El Universal reported.
Authorities expect to import about 500,000t of cement as a mechanical failure at state-owned producer INC’s mill brought production to a halt, leading to a national shortage, industry and trade minister José María Ibáñez was quoted as saying. The mill’s repair could take up to three months, as it must be carried out abroad, because its engine, built in 1983, requires specialized maintenance.
Representatives of the construction sector have publicly stated they will import cement for up to US$7.60 a bag, although some have paid up to US$19.00 per bag.
Paraguay usually imports small amounts of cement from Brazil, regulated by policies that prevent these imports from harming national production. Authorities are currently open to import cement from Argentina and Uruguay as well.