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A local cement manufacturer forecasts the industry will record a growth this year following a 10-percent decline in 2020, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
But Republic Cement president and chief executive officer Nabil Francis said last year’s actual drop in growth from 2019 level was lower than the forecasted cement sales volume drop of 15 percent.
“We strongly believe that we will get back to 2019 level in 2021. It means 12-percent growth compared to 2020,” he said in a press conference Tuesday.
Francis said the industry is expected to sell 35 million tons of cement this year.
“The main driver is the bagged (cement) segment, which is the individual house builders, as the real backbone of the demand. The segments that are lagging behind are the infrastructure and the non-residential,” he added.
Meanwhile, Francis has welcomed the investigation initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the alleged dumping of cement from Vietnam.
“Most of the cement that is imported from Vietnam is dumped to the Philippines. It is sold at a price much lower than the domestic cement prices in Vietnam. The Vietnamese cement industry is subsidized also by the government,” he said.
He said the influx of imported cement has injured the local industry.
“Imported cement is still creating a lot of injury to the local industry. As of today, imported cement is capturing more or less 50 percent of the total market in the Philippine. While this is a big concern to us, this is a big concern to everybody. Because we all know that when you buy local, you inject three times more (in)to the local economy rather than you buy from imported cement,” Francis said.