Bolivia looks to imports to solve shortage

Bolivia looks to imports to solve shortage
Published: 27 January 2012

Tagged Under: Bolivia 

To address a possible shortage of cement, Bolivia’s Deputy Minister of Public Works, Vladimir Third, announced yesterday, the country is considering scaling up imports as gas supply issues hinder production against a backdrop of rising demand.

Mr Third explained that the shortage of cement is due to high demand by the domestic construction industry on the back of strong economic growth, local press reports. According to government estimates, the domestic cement market may not be covered because of continuous rises in demand.

"We're going to have problems in cement production especially in the supply (...) the tendency will be to maintain prices," he said. Asked about the actions that the Government will take to mitigate the effects of the demand for cement in the country, Terceros limited to point out "it is important (...) to import."

The lack of cement in the country is attributed to the inability of the Bolivian Fiscal Oilfields (YPFB) to generate higher volumes of gas required for production.

He explained that with gas exports to Brazil and Argentina, and domestic gas distribution in the country, energy volumes to meet the demand of the cement industry were reduced.

"Not having the capacity to meet demand for gas required by cement, is imminent that the Government considers how to mitigate this effect to prevent the rise of the price of a bag of cement as in June last year," he said.

In June 2010, the cement shortage forced the government to import cement from Peru, when former Minister of Public Works, Walter Delgadillo, called for private companies to increase cement production volumes.