Cement consumption in Brazil grew 1.1 per cent to 33.9Mt in 2004 compared to the year before, according to preliminary data from the country’s national cement industry union SNIC. In the period, exports grew 32 per cent to 551,671t due principally to the international expansion of leading cement producer Votorantim Cimentos, in particular in the US, newservice AE Setorial reported.
Votorantim produced 13.9Mt last year, followed by Joao Santos with 4.49Mt, Cimpor (3.5Mt), Holcim (2.9Mt), Camargo Correa (2.68Mt), Lafarge (2.24Mt), CP Cimento (1.73Mt), Ciplan (1.13Mt), Soeicom (929,974t) and Itambe (860,863t).
Regarding this year, the newservice quoted SNIC executive secretary Jose Carvalho as saying consumption should increase 3.5-4 per cent due to an upswing in the economy. Four years ago consumption was around 40Mta, but began falling since then and just began picking up again in the second quarter of last year, said Carvalho.
For his part, Ronaldo Vizzoni, infrastructure manager at the country’s portland cement association (ABCP), told BNamericas the ABCP is optimistic about 2005, after two years of almost no infrastructure investment.
Vizzoni said the government has looked favorably on the use of cement in highway works, adding the association expects cement to continue increasing its participation in this area. Of the 164,000km of paved roads in the country, around two per cent are cement and the remainder asphalt. Government plans to revamp and build new airport and port infrastructure also will help boost demand, he added.