19 March 2015

Peru Top Cement Maker Unacem Says Exports to Offset Mining Slump

By Nathan Gill
(Bloomberg) -- Union Andina de Cementos SAA, Peru’s biggest cement supplier, expects growth in exports will help offset weakening demand from local miners.

Overseas sales of clinker, an ingredient in cement production, will surge 18 percent to about 500,000 metric tons this year, Ricardo Rizo Patron, chairman of the company, said Wednesday in an interview in Quito. Demand for its construction materials in Peru will probably rise this year and next, he said.

“The increase in exports is very interesting because it provides us with dollars,” Rizo Patron said. “I think 2015 will be a better year than 2014, and 2016 will be even better.”

The Lima-based company, which also operates in Chile, Colombia and the U.S., also expects construction of housing and large infrastructure projects in Peru to offset a slowdown in demand from the nation’s mining industry, Rizo Patron said. The company isn’t planning any new debt or equity sales this year and won’t change its investment plans or curb output, he said.