Philippines: strong cement sales expected in 2013

Philippines: strong cement sales expected in 2013

The Philippine cement sector is looking forward to higher sales this year as private sector projects and increased government spending on infrastructure are expected to continue driving drive demand.

“2013 is going to be a strong year for sales,” Ernesto Ordoñez, president of the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines told the Philippine Star.

Mr Ordoñez said that higher sales would be supported by the government’s plan to spend more for infrastructure projects. “The increase in government spending, if it happens, is enough to support higher sales even if we have a high base (in 2012),” he said.

He added that: "Because of overall confidence in the government, the private sector is expected to be as strong (as last year)."

For the first nine months of 2012, cement sales reached 13.9Mt, a 20 per cent rise compared to the same period of the previous year. In the third quarter, sales were 14 per cent higher YoY at 4.4Mt.

Capacity increases

In line with recent strong consumption gains and to meet long term domestic needs, last year a number of local cement producers announced their intentions to increase supplies.

Holcim Philippines has begun reactivating its idle facilities beginning with its terminal in Calaca, Batangas and its grinding plant in Mabini will be operational  by 3Q13. The company is currently preparing a proposal for a new 2Mta cement plant which is expected to be be presented to the board in the first half of this year.

Meanwhile, Cemex is to increase capacity at its plant in APO by 1.5Mta through an investment of US$65m. The project is expected to be operational by 2014.

Lafarge Republic also plans to lift capacity by 1Mta through a revamp at its Danao grinding plant in Cebu and debottlenecking its Norzagaray plant’s mill in Bulacan. By the first quarter of 2013, Lafarge hopes to supply an additional 0.2Mta of cement to Luzon, 0.65Mta to Visayas and another 0.1Mta to Mindanao.