The country’s cement sales dropped 4.1 per cent to 14.46Mt in the first half of 2006 from 15.08Mt in the same period last year. Data from the association of cement producers (ASI) show that sales in Java fell 10 per cent to 8.54Mt from 9.45Mt.
ASI chairman Urip Timuryono predicted the trend will continue for the rest of the year due to the declining purchasing power of the people. Oil prices remain high and the interest rates have not declined significantly as expected resulting in weak purchasing power, Urip said. He said he is not convinced that the government’s plan to implement big infrastructure projects, which may boost cement sales, will be implemented as scheduled this year.