Cement sales in Peru fell 5.8% in July to 309,956t in comparison with same month last year, according to figures from cement association Asocem. Brokerage Centura SAB attributed the high level of purchases in July 2003 to an anticipated value added tax increase in August last year.
Leading cement producer Cementos Lima saw its sales dive 9.1% year-on-year for the same reason and the July 14 national strike, according to the brokerage. The country’s second largest producer Cementos Pacasmayo saw sales inch up 2.4% due to robust public and private investment such as the construction of the Olmos-Corral Quemado highway and the first stage of the Olmos irrigation project.
In southern Peru, Cementos Yura’s sales were hit by lower demand for self-construction purposes, although sales were bolstered by mining related projects, which also affected Cementos Sur.
Centura SAB expects sales to recover in August and increase 3.4% year-on-year due to lower corresponding sales in the prior year period when the market was overstocked due to advanced purchases by some cement distributors. This, and the Mivivienda and Techo Propio housing programs will boost Cementos Lima’s sales 10.8%, the brokerage said.