Dominican Republic consumption declines 8% in 2011

Dominican Republic consumption declines 8% in 2011
Published: 20 April 2012

Tagged Under: Dominican Republic 

Domestic consumption in the Dominican Republic fell eight per cent in 2011 compared to 2010, as the Caribbean island continues to feel the impact of the global economic downturn.

According to Dominican Republic cement association, Adocem, local consumption stood at 2.8Mt in 2011 compared to 3.05Mt the year before with the decline attributed to the ongoing effects of the global economic crisis. "The biggest increase in cement sales are made to the Dominican private sector,” according to Osvaldo Oller, president of the Adocem.

Since 2006 consumption has fallen by 1Mt (around 23 per cent). Mr Oller noted that despite growth of 4.5% of GDP in the Dominican economy – which placed Dominican Republic as one of the fastest growing Latin America countries –  and timely support during election periods: "the construction sector has not completely overcome the difficult situation of the last four years."

He explained that construction investment in hotels and tourist real estate has stalled and is still suffering the brunt of the crisis. The residential sector is also being affected by high interest rates, making access to loans for private construction and home ownership more difficult, according to the Adocem 2011 Annual Report.

In terms of cement production, the Dominican Republic has a capacity of 6.2Mt. Presently, around 50 per cent of production is sold to the local market and around 1Mt is exported mainly to Haiti and the Caribbean islands.

Currently six cement plans are in operation and last year the industry invested US$20m in the sector.