Cement demand recorded conflicting trends across different markets in the first half of the year, according to CW Research’s Cement Country Market Data reporting.
Consumption of cement rose strongly in Peru but contracted in markets such as Saudi Arabia and Argentina.
In Peru, cement demand increased around 3% over the first five months of the year, to approximately 3.5 million tonnes.
Investors are said to be positive regarding the country’s construction industry, with spending in infrastructure and housing showing a healthy growth. Peru’s mining sector is a leader in terms of construction activity, with a healthy pipeline of projects lined up in this area for 2019.
“With an expected GDP growth of 3.9% in 2019, Peru offers good perspectives for the cement industry. Private investment, particularly in the mining industry, is replacing large infrastructure projects such as the Pan-American Games, as the main propeller of the construction sector,” said Carolina Pereira, business analyst at CW Group.
Conversely, consumption of cement in Saudi Arabia declined over 11% year-on-year in the January-May period. While the country’s construction sector is expected to continue a positive performance as the government focuses on diversifying its economic output, the cement sector is still struggling with overcapacity.
In Argentina, cement demand declined by around 8% in the first six months of the year compared to the equivalent period in 2018. The country has been facing a challenging backdrop, with most of the economic indicators performing negatively, including construction.