Cement sales soar as new projects come on line, South Africa

Cement sales soar as new projects come on line, South Africa
Published: 17 November 2006

Demand for cement in SA has continued to soar as sales last month increased 10,9%, compared with the corresponding month last year, according to the cement sales monitor of the Cement and Concrete Institute. 
Growth in cement demand has caught the local industry by surprise and has prompted local players to invest in expansion projects to ramp up capacity. 
The institute, which tracks cement sales in SA and neighbouring countries Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, showed that almost 1,28Mt of cement were sold in SA last month, against 1.15Mt in October last year. 
Regional sales rose 10,7%, from last year’s 1.25Mt to 1.38Mt last month. 
The institute said, however, that there was one more working day last month, compared with October last year. 
From January to last month, domestic sales – which exclude sales in neighbouring countries – soared 11% from 9,9-million tons in the comparable period last year to 10,99-million tons. 
Regional sales in the first 10 months of this year increased 9,9% from 10.76Mt to 11,83Mt. 
Exports increased 14,1%, from 18000t in October last year to 21,000t last month.
The institute said building plans continued to increase, although at a slower rate.
"Non-residential building made up the majority of the increase in the value of building plans passed," it said.