South Africa: Economic slowdown hurting cement production

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Updated Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:10:46 GMT

PPC has warned that slower economic growth and falling infrastructure spending has led to a 'particularly tough' domestic market. Low single-digit volume declines across Africa's second-biggest economy were partly offset by higher sales prices in the 10 months to July 2014. South Africa's economy is forecast to grow at the slowest pace since the 2009 recession in 2014 after strikes in the platinum mining and metalworkers industries hurt output.

Meanwhile, a new plant in Rwanda is expected to be commissioned early 2015 as PPC seeks growth opportunities in other markets. Indeed, PPC is expanding in several other African countries, including Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, as demand for cement grows in sub-Saharan Africa. It is targeting 40% of sales outside South Africa by 2017, compared with 26% in the six months to March 2014.