Venezuela faces irregular cement supply

Venezuela faces irregular cement supply
Published: 30 April 2013


While Venezuela’s authorities claim a rise in cement output, supply of the product on the ground continues to struggle, negatively impacting the implementation of projects, particularly in the private sector.

Construction industry sources said that Fábrica Nacional de Cemento (FNC) and Cementos de Venezuela both face operational issues and only Industria Venezolana de Cemento is working at full capacity.

As a result, supply of cement has been irregular and builders have noted a reduced availability of the different types of cement as two of the three state companies no longer produce all types of cement. For instance, white cement is subject to severe shortages and is entirely imported at present. This has affected the price, which has skyrocketed from VEB23 to VEB140 (US$3.66 to US$22).

Moreover, the modest output is directed towards public works, leaving private building projects short of the product.

FNC’s cement production in 2012 was 1Mta with the company operating at two-thirds of its capacity. It ended the year with a loss of VEB49m, the third year of losses. Industria Venezolana closed with better results: it produced 2.7Mt in 2012, operating at full capacity.