Cement sales in Brazil increased 3.9% in November 2019 to 4.7 million tons (Mt) compared to the prior-year period, according to the country’s cement industry union SNIC. The result marks the fifth consecutive positive month, but the volume still has a gap of approximately 23% compared to 2014, the best year in recent industry history.
Cumulative sales of cement in 2019 (January to November) amounted to 50.5 Mt, an increase of 3.6% over the same period last year. In the last 12 months, cumulative sales reached 54.5 Mt, up 3.3% compared to the prior-year period.
SNIC attributed the rise in sales to the recovery of the real estate sector, offsetting the weak performance of the infrastructure sector due to low public investment.
“The number of new residential launches accumulated an increase of 17% until September compared to the same period of 2018. The number of new properties financed by SBPE (Brazilian Savings and Loan System) also presents a good result this year, with growth of 45%, comparing January to September 2019 with January to September 2018,” said SNIC president Paulo Camillo Penna.
Still according to the executive, the reduction in inventories of residential real estate can already be noticed in some regions, pressuring the market to construct new units. For example, the number of permits for vertical ventures in São Paulo grew 44% in the accumulated 12 months, according to September data from SBPE.
“The improvement of the macroeconomic environment made this recovery possible. Low and controlled inflation, combined with new interest rate financing lines and a new modality, with an inflation index (INPC) plus interest rates, warmed the real estate market,” said Penna.
Apparent cement consumption in November, which corresponds to domestic sales plus imports, totaled 4.7 Mt, up 3.5% from the same month last year. Year-to-date growth grew 3.4% compared to the same range of 2018.
In the comparison of the 12-month period from December 2018 to November 2019, the increase in consumption reached 3.1% over the same previous period (December 2017 to November 2018).