Indonesia’s cement consumption is forecast to continue to be on the decline until the end of the first half of this year with purchasing power of the people still weak. Cholil Hasan, the Finance Director of PT Semen Gresik, the state and country’s largest cement maker, said with the declining trend the five per cent growth target for cement sales in the country this year may not be achieved. A decline in sales will still continue to mark cement market in the second quarter of this year, Cholil predicted. Demand for cement in the housing development sector will depend largely on the interest rate slapped by banks on housing credits, he said.
Meanwhile, the country’s second largest cement producer PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa predicted a zero growth in cement sales in the country this year. In the first three months of this year cement demand in the country fell 3.5 per cent, forcing Indocement to revise downward its growth target from three per cent to zero, its Finance Director Christian Kartawijaya said.