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Cement consumption in the Americas in 2017

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World Cement,

Cement consumption in across the Americas will remain disappointing in 2017, according to a new report from IA Cement, despite the Trump infrastructure plan offering a ray of hope to the industry in the US.

US – further steady growth

US cement consumption has been somewhat disappointing in the last two years. In 2017, IA Cement anticipate a similar trend, with modest growth of 4 – 5% in cement demand, in line with forecasts from the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

While infrastructure spending is picking up at both the federal and state levels, the much-heralded Trump infrastructure plan is unlikely to have any effect on volumes in 2017 – 2018. Commercial construction is increasing as the economy improves and the election uncertainty disappears. Progress on tax cuts could quickly improve prospects in this segment. Housing demand – the key growth driver in recent years – has begun to slow as higher long-term interest rates and selling prices eat into affordability.

The cement industry has again announced sharp January price increases in the mid-teens, assisted by supply-demand tightness in a number of markets. These are likely to be partially successful. Imports will take a growing share of the US demand growth from 2017 and beyond.

Stabilisation in Latin America

After a severe contraction in 2016, IA Cement expects 2017 Latin American cement consumption to be slightly lower with a decline of 1%.

Brazil remains locked in political and economic turmoil. Modest growth in Colombia and Mexico is predicted, not as strong as in previous years but still in the region of 2%. Mexico faces a period of uncertainty after the Trump election win, and the government is being forced to cut budget spending and raise rates to defend the currency. Prospects in Argentina are improving following severe government measures to stabilise the economy in 2016.

Editor’s Note – Extract from “Recovery Underway” (World Cement: January 2017). Information on IA Cement’s full global outlook for the cement industry in 2017 is available here or by emailing:

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