Philippine nine-month cement sales surge

Philippine nine-month cement sales surge
Published: 24 October 2012


Philippine cement sales increased 20 per cent in the first nine months of 2012, the first time such a high growth rate has been achieved for nearly 20 years.

Figures from the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) show that between Jan-Sept 2012, cement sales reached 13.9Mt against 11.6Mt recorded in the same period last year.

CeMAP president Ernesto M. Ordonez told reporters the growth was largely fueled by the strong infrastructure expenditures of the Aquino administration. Mr Ordonez that these figures signify a record considering growth has averaged around 3-4 per cent since 1997 and that the industry has not posted growth of 20 per cent has not been seen since 1994.

For the third quarter of 2012, cement sales were up 14 per cent to 4.4Mt from 3.9Mt in 3Q11.

Ordonez, however, said it was difficult to forecast that the industry could maintain a 20 percent growth for the entire year because the comparative figure because growth in the last quarter in 2011 was already very high at 21 per cent.

He noted that the private sector fueled growth last year even if the government was muted. “This year, the private sector continues to be strong and with the government’s accelerated infrastructure spending that would fuel confidence and as we know the private sector follows the government spending,” he stressed.

Real estate developments as well as residential buildings and commercial centers are being constructed. These developments are not only located in the National Capital Region but also in the provinces.
The continuing huge remittances by the overseas Filipino workers have pushed more housing projects in the rural areas.

Ordonez noted that growth last year was limited to just one per cent because of the slow implementation of the government infrastructure programs and only the private sector driving the industry’s growth.

He said private sector construction and property developments posted strong growth to enable the cement industry sales to grow even at one per cent.