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Real estate and self-construction drive buoyant cement consumption in Latin America in 2021
By: CW Group
In 2021, cement consumption in five select countries in the region – Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile – was driven by self-construction, real estate works, and the resumption of limited public investment.
"In Argentina and Peru, public investment and infrastructure works boosted cement dispatches in 2021, while in Brazil self-construction and real estate works were the main drivers of the market during the year. At the same time, housing was the key growth factor for Colombia's construction market in 2021," explains Vasco Teixeira, Business Analyst at CW Group.
Cement shipments in Argentina reach 4-year high
Cement consumption in Argentina posted 24 percent growth in 2021 compared to the previous year, the highest level in the last four years. In five provinces, shipments reached all-time highs. The key driver in Argentina was bulk cement, which grew over 63 percent year-on-year, as large-scale public and private works were the main users of cement in the country.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, cement sales grew about 7 percent in 2021, with the main growth drivers being the continuity of construction and renovations through self-construction, real estate works, and an incipient resumption of infrastructure works.
Housing drives growth in the Colombian market
In Colombia, cement consumption in 2021 increased 16 percent year-on-year. The country's construction sector grew by almost 6 percent, driven strongly by housing, with 21.5 million square meters licensed for building, up by almost 29 percent year-on-year.
In Chile, bagged cement sales increased about 16 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. Construction reported positive figures from the second quarter of the year, reaching a 14 percent growth.
Meanwhile, in Peru, cement consumption jumped more than 40 percent compared to 2020, with domestic cement consumption up by 44 percent for the 12 months of the year. During the first half of 2021, cement consumption rose sharply, posting 12 consecutive months of growth, however, growth slowed down in the second half of the year, due to the reduced levels of investment in public and private works.
Cement exports from Brazil and Peru advance on stronger exports
Cement exports in Brazil and Peru jumped by 52 percent and 43 percent in 2021 year-on-year, respectively. Meanwhile in Argentina cement exports were down by almost 13 percent year-on-year.