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The demand for cement is still sluggish.

According to an executive of Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), the company that owns Republic Cement, demand for cement remains low because the country’s economy has yet to fully recover.

Dmi Lozano, AEV’s chief financial officer, said in a news conference Thursday night that significant commercial projects like high-rise buildings and malls, which are a big portion of the cement industry’s demand, haven’t picked up in the last two years.

“It’s starting to go up, but the reality is we haven’t seen that lift in the commercial space, particularly huge commercial.” I believe that’s what we’ve been waiting for, and that once mobility constraints are lifted, we’ll see more people buying, more people in malls, and more malls, hospitals, high-rises, and homes being built,” Lozana added.

Even throughout the epidemic, he said, infrastructure and residential developments, especially the home builder industry, kept demand afloat.

According to Lozano, the pricing trend has been lower from the beginning of 2020.

He went on to say that the cement industry has seen a halt in imports as input costs rise due to rising transportation and trade costs, but market prices remain low.

“It means the landing cost of imports is likely considerably greater than it was at the start of this year or last year, and at the same time, selling prices are low, so their margins have probably deteriorated dramatically,” Lozano explained.

Lozano said Republic Cement is working on projects to increase the efficiency and output of its existing facilities in order to boost profits in the face of rising input costs and low market pricing.

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