Indonesia’s domestic cement sales volumes, an indicator of economic activity, fell 6.1 per cent in October to 2.78Mt from a year earlier, the country’s largest cement maker said on Wednesday. State-controlled PT Semen Gresik Tbk gave no reason for the decline when issuing the data, but the drop comes at a time of sharply rising inflation and interest rates in Indonesia.
Domestic sales for Gresik, 25.5 per cent owned by Cemex, fell 11.7 per cent to 1.18Mt. Including exports, its sales were down 11.4 per cent at 1.38Mt. Total domestic cement consumption in Indonesia in the first 10 months of 2005 was still 6.2 per cent higher than in January-October 2004, reaching 26.8Mt. Indonesia consumed 30.04Mt of cement last year, up from 27.54Mt in 2003. Analysts and industry executives expect demand to increase 5-10 per cent this year.