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Asia grows but news is gloomier elsewhere

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World Cement,

Asian cement production expanded in the first four months of the year, according to date from CW Research, depute struggles in developed Asia. Output in Latin America slumped, however, despite strong performance in Argentine, while Mediterranean Basin production also remained week.

“Asia – broadly speaking – still shows resilience with output increasing, especially in the frontier and emerging markets,” said Robert Maderia, Managing Director and Head of Research at CW Group. “Developed Asia is struggling to generate growth.”

Cement production rose in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, according to CW Research, offsetting a fall in production in India and Japan. In China, construction activity continued to be strong, supporting cement production in the northeast and southwest of the country.

Year-to-date cement production is up 1% year-on-year in China, reaching 662.8 million t.

In Latin America, domestic demand continued to be suffer from a lack of consumer confidence and low government spending, said CW Research. Brazil – the largest regional producer – slipped 10% for the first four months of the year at 17 million t. Both Peru and Colombia also reported falling year-to-date production, down 7% and 4%, respectively.

Argentinian production bucked the trend, however, rising 14% year-on-year in April, reaching 0.9 million t. Cement consumption was supported by higher public spending at both national and regional levels.

In the Mediterranean Basin, both Spanish and Italian production showed downward trends. Spanish cement demand was down 6% year-on-year in April, while Italian producers have been hit by a sharp decline in cement exports. Exports were down 33% over the first three months of the year, leading to a 3% drop in production.

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