Cement sales in Portugal fell 19.7 per cent year-on-year to 4.146Mt for the period January to June 2003, Portugal's Association of Building and Public Works Companies said on August 6, 2003. The association stresses that the struggling Portuguese construction sector's outlook was less pessimistic in the half-year and forecast a recovery from the sector's current crisis in the coming months.
Cement sales in Portugal dropped 17 per cent in terms of volume to 2.1Mt in the first quarter of 2003, compared to the same period of 2002, AECOPS said earlier. The decline has been attributed to the stagnation of the Portuguese construction sector and to the drop in public investments registered in the first three months of 2003. According to forecasts of AECOPS for 2003, Portuguese construction output is expected to fall 2.2 per cent in the year from the €27bnregistered in 2002, continuing the decreasing trend marked last year.
Construction output of residential real estate is expected to decline by 8.0 per cent year-on-year in 2003, while output of non-residential real estate is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent in terms of volume, mainly due to works related to the Euro 2004 European Soccer Championship, AECOPS said. The residential segment mainly contributed to a decrease in the demand for civil engineering in the half-year, AECOPS said. The Portuguese state awarded 990 construction contracts in the first six months of 2003, worth €1.209bn. A total of 1562 construction tenders were opened worth €1.773bn. Portuguese Northern Civil Construction and Public Works Association (AICCOPN) does not expect a recovery of the local construction sector, although an improvement in the sector's performance was registered in June 2003. Large construction companies were most affected by the crisis in the Portuguese construction sector.
Editor's note: To get the latest information on the Portuguese cement and building materials sector visit the forthcoming Cemtech Conference at the Ritz Four Seasons Hotel, Lisbon 28th September through to the 1st October 2003.