The past year was an outstanding year for the South African cement industry with several sales records being broken, John Sheath, marketing manager of the Cement & Concrete Institute, has reported.
Writing in the latest issue of Concrete Trends, the official journal of the Cement & Concrete Institute, Sheath says for the first time total demand – including exports – exceeded 12Mt. Regional and domestic demand also soared to new heights, reaching 11Mt and 10Mt, respectively.
“The regional volume of about 11.7Mt represented a year-on-year growth of 15,5 per cent and the domestic growth was 17.4 per cent compared with 2003,” Sheath states.
Domestically, demand in all South African provinces was higher than in 2003 with the most significant growth coming from Gauteng (up 19%), Eastern Cape (up 28%), Western Cape (up 25%) and Mpumalanga (up 19%).
Buying sectors reflecting the strongest growth last year were cement blenders (up 29%), re-sellers (up 16%), readymixed concrete producers (up 21%), and concrete product manufacturers (up 18%).
The outlook for the short-medium term remains very positive as relatively low interest rates prevail and business and consumer confidence reach new heights. “The awarding of the 2010 Soccer World Cup to South Africa should fast-track infrastructural expenditure programmes and the delivery of low-income housing should accelerate during 2005. Couple this with an emerging market that is growing rapidly, and a non-residential building market also set for future growth, and demand for cementitious products will continue to be very strong,” he adds.