Cement sales in Brazil decline 2% in March

Cement sales in Brazil decline 2% in March
14 April 2023

Brazil’s cement market contracted by two per cent to 5.398Mt in March 2023 from 5.507Mt in March 2022, according to the country’s cement association, SNIC. The association attributes the fall to a prolonged period of heavy rains in several regions of the country as well as economic factors including high interest rates, inflation and household indebtedness, aggravated by the slowdown in the labour market. Monetary tightening, fiscal and political uncertainty, lower population income are key factors in the slowdown of cement market drivers, says the association.

Of this total the southeast, the country’s largest market, saw a 2.1 per cent decline to 2.54Mt in March 2023 from 2.595Mt in March 2022. However, the northeast reported a 2.8 per cent YoY pick-up in sales to 1.114Mt from 1.084Mt and the south a 0.4 per cent increase to 0.964Mt from 0.96Mt over the same period. Off-take in the central-west saw the largest drop at 12.2 per cent YoY to 0.559Mt in March 2023 from 0.637Mt while the country’s smallest market, the north, saw sales fall by 4.3 per cent YoY to 0.221Mt from 0.231Mt in March 2022.

In terms of exports, volumes were down by 28.6 per cent YoY to 15,000t in March 2023 from 21,000t.  

January-March 2023
In the first three months of 2023 sales in the domestic market slipped by 0.8 per cent YoY to 14.665Mt from 14.789Mt.

The southeast reported a 0.9 per cent decline in sales to 6.707Mt in the 1Q23 from 6.768Mt in the 1Q22 while the northeast saw an uptick of 1.4 per cent YoY to 3.101Mt from 3.059Mt – the only region in the country to see growing sales. Sales were also down in the south, by 1.7 per cent, to 2.621Mt from 2.665Mt and in the central-west, which saw sales decline by 3.6 per cent YoY to 1.6Mt in the 1Q23 from 1.659Mt. In the south there was a 1.7 per cent decline in off-take in the 1Q23 to 2.621Mt from 2.665Mt when compared with the 1Q22. In the north sales slipped by 0.3 per cent to 0.636Mt in the January-March 2023 period from 0.638Mt in the year-ago period.

Exports in the first three months of 2023 dropped by 49.1 per cent YoY to 58,000t from 114,000t in the 3M22.

However, the industry remains largely positive in terms of its outlook. “The reformulation of Minha Casa, Minha Vida points to a more optimistic horizon regarding cement consumption in the country. If we consider a unit of 45m², for example, it uses approximately 4t of the product, using concrete blocks, the consumption is 6t. Projecting the government's expectation and the use of the input in the promised units until 2026, the cement industry in Brazil projects an increase of 8 million tons of cement - if all constructions are made of masonry blocks - and of 12 million tons, in the case of using concrete walls,” said SNIC President, Paulo Camillo Penna.

Published under Cement News