Argentine production of Portland cement rose 32.8% in August compared to the same month last year due to the growth of the construction industry, according to a report from the association of Portland cement manufacturers (AFCP).
During last month Portland cement plants delivered 683,037t, including exports. This was a 12.3% increase compared to July and 32.8% up on August 2004. Consumption of the product in the domestic market reached 673,918t, including cement imports, which was an increase of 11.7% compared to July and was 32.5% more than in August 2004.
Cement sales are following the trend set by the construction sector in the country, which grew 8.4% in the first seven months of this year after having expanded 19.9% in 2004.
The cement industry in the country was recently shaken up when minister of economy Roberto Lavagna announced fines of 309mn pesos (US$106mn) for several leading companies in the sector for having manipulated prices between 1981 and 1999.
The companies affected are Loma Negra, Cementos San Martí, Juan Minetti and Corcemar, Cementos Avellaneda and Petroquíica Comodoro Rivadavia. Both Loma Negra and Juan Minetti have appealed the measure.