For the first time this year, the cement industry registed an expressive increase in sales. In June, according to National Syndicate of Cement Industries (Snic), consumption of the product reached 2.91Mt, 6.24% more than in the month of May, which it reached 2.74Mt. Compared with June 2003, the increase was still greater at 9.72%. In the accumulation for the year, through June cement sales totaled 16.3 million tonnes, up only 0.2% over first half 2003.
Although timid, it is the first sign of recovery for the sector, which since 2000 - when the Brazilian market consumed 40Mt - has experienced consecutive declines in sales volumes and receipts. For this, manufacturers prefer to remain cautious and hope for stronger indications of improvements in the Brazilian market and, only after that, bet on growth. According to Snic director Jose Otavio Carvalho, with the increase in personal income and approval of the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) incentives, the sector could see better performance in 2005.