South African cement sales soared by 28 per cent year-on-year (y/y) to 971,604t after climbing by only 2.1 per cent y/y in March 2005 to 924,652t. The y/y comparisons are distorted by Easter falling in March this year, whereas in 2004 it fell in April.
In November 2004, South African cement sales surged by 26.1 per cent y/y to a record 1,103,317t, but this slowed to a 7.8 per cent y/y increase to 724,051t in December 2004 with a further easing to 7.1 per cent y/y increase to 605,290t in January 2005 before a recovery to a 12.1 per cent y/y increase in February.
Cement sales in South Africa rose by 17.4 per cent in 2004 to a record 10.69Mt compared with a 7.0 per cent rise in 2003. Exports however declined by 14.1 per cent to 1.32Mt after a 10 per cent drop in 2003.
The real value of building plans passed in South Africa increased by 32.8 per cent y/y to 31.947 billion constant 2000 rand in 2004, Statistics South Africa reported on Thursday. The largest increase in the value of recorded building plans passed was reported for residential buildings (up 39.6 per cent to 19.292 billion constant 2000 rand), followed by additions and alterations (up 27.6 per cent to 8.178 billion constant 2000 rand) and non-residential buildings (up 17.0 per cent to 4.478 billion constant 2000 rand). South Africa is currently experiencing a housing boom with South African house prices increasing by 32.6 per cent y/y in December.
November 2004 was the third consecutive month that South African cement volumes have exceeded one million tons in a month after this milestone was breached for the first time in June 2004. In June 2004, cement sales surged by
31.5 per cent y/y to a then-record 1,002,377t.