SNIC reports rise in February sales but warns of uncertainty

SNIC reports rise in February sales but warns of uncertainty
13 March 2019

Cement sales in Brazil increased by 6.4 per cent YoY to 4.1Mt  in February 2019, according to the country's cement association, SNIC.

According to SNIC President, Paulo Camillo Penna, last month's results were directly influenced by the comparison of working days. "February's performance was increased by just two working days more than in February 2018 due to the carnival holiday. If we analyse the sales per working day the result of February is 3.2 per cent lower than the same month last year," he said.

However, domestic cement producers saw export sales rise by 20 per cent from 5000t in February 2018 to 6000t in February 2019.

January-February 2019
In the January-February 2019 period total sales advanced 5.4 per cent to 8.6Mt when compared with the first two months of the previous year.

Sales robustly increased by 9.6 per cent YoY in central-eastern Brazil to 0.888Mt while in the south the advance was 6.9 per cent to 1.441Mt. In the southeast, the country’s biggest market, off-take rose by 4.5 per cent to 4.055Mt while in the second-largest market, the northeast, they advanced by 4.7 per cent to 1.858Mt – both below the national average of 5.4 per cent. In the smallest market of the north the increase was only 3.5 per cent to 0.383Mt.

Exports were flat at 13,000t in the first two months of 2019.

Uncertain performance for 2019
However, data for the last 12 months (March 2018-February 2019) show that accumulated sales slipped by 0.4 per cent to 53.1Mt in comparison with the March 2017-February 2018 period, leading to concerns within the industry about the current trend.

Mr Penna highlighted the uncertainty going forward. "Despite the recent realignment of the housing market in recent months, the sector still does not have a consistent environment capable of leading to sustainable growth and enabling recovery of the accumulated loss of almost 30 per cent in the last four years," he explained.

"Our projection is for the first half of 2019 to grow by close to 1.5 per cent and the expectation is for an even stronger second half, leveraged mainly by the possible start or resumption of infrastructure works by the federal government, which should help us to close the year with a three per cent increase," SNIC’s president added.

Published under Cement News