Cement sector projects higher sales this year

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 04 2013 08:13 AM | Updated as of Jan 04 2013 04:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Cement manufacturers may see higher sales this year as the private sector continues to take on projects, and as government spends more for infrastructure, an industry official said.

“2013 is going to be a strong year for sales,” Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines president Ernesto Ordoñez said in a telephone interview.

He declined to give a forecast but said sales would likely grow this year as the private sector is seen to continue to take on projects.

“Because of overall confidence in government, private sector is expected to be as strong (as last year),” he said.

He added the 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.

Data on full-year sales for 2012 are not yet available.

As of end-September, the group’s cement sales reached 13.9 million tons, up 20 percent from the same period last year.

For the third quarter, cement sales reached 4.4 million tons, 14 percent higher than in the comparable period a year ago.

Ordoñez said the higher sales were due to the private sector’s investment in construction as well as the government’s move to spend for infrastructure projects.

He declined to give an estimate as to how much sales are estimated to have reached last year, although he said that it likely grew from a year earlier.

In 2011, cement sales reached 15.6 million tons, up slightly from 15.4 million tons in the previous year.