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Global Panorama: Latin America

World Cement,

Latin America

The IMF forecasts growth of just 1.3% for Latin America this year, down nine-tenths of a percentage point from the October 2014 figure. It predicts economic contraction in Venezuela and Argentina and growth of just 0.3% in Brazil. In Colombia, the low crude price took its toll on the oil-driven economy and contributed to slowing growth during 2014. The drop in oil revenues prompted the government to cut this year’s budget by 3%. This will mainly affect infrastructure and administrative spending, reports Focus Economics. That said, BMI’s view is that with strong backing from the Colombian government there could be a healthy annual real construction growth of 7.5% between 2015 and 2020. A telesurtv report, quoting Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera of Bolivia, said that despite the fall in oil prices, infrastructure and construction projects will go ahead as planned due to the precautions that the government has taken against any catastrophic drop in prices. In November 2014, FLSmidth was awarded a contract by SOBOCE for the design and construction of a new plant to be built in Santa Cruz.

As mentioned elsewhere in World Cement, new cement plants under construction in the region include those by Cemex and Cementera del Magdalena in Colombia, the Cemex Latam Holdings (CLH) grinding plant in Nicaragua and CLH’s ongoing project in Costa Rica. IA Cement estimates that Latin American cement demand growth will be restricted to a 1 –  2.5% range. Smaller Latin American markets are likely to see patchy growth compared to rapid rises in previous years. In particular, Peru and Ecuador have seen a slowdown in volumes, while a flat market is predicted in Chile.

Written by Paul Maxwell-Cook. This is an excerpt from World Cement's July 2015 issue. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the July 2015 issue here.

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