Cement Shipments in Argentina Drop in January

January witnessed a significant decline in cement shipments in Argentina, signaling concerns for the economy and the construction sector.

Cement Shipments in Argentina Drop in January
Photo by Angelica Reyes / Unsplash

In January, Argentina faced a concerning 20% decrease in cement shipments, a development that raises alarms about the state of the economy and the construction industry. This alarming figure, disclosed by the Association of Portland Cement Manufacturers (AFCP), paints a grim picture, further exacerbated by the government's halt in public works disbursements under Javier Milei's administration.

The AFCP has voiced concerns over job losses linked to public works, emphasizing cement's role as a key input in the sector. With 772,874 tons dispatched in January, this downturn not only mirrors declines seen in economic crises of previous years but also anticipates a broader downturn in construction activity.

The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) corroborates this trend with a reported 3% year-on-year average decrease in construction activity for 2023. The outlook remains bleak, especially for those involved in public works, with 77.4% expecting a decrease in activity. The current situation has been described as an "emergency" by the head of the Argentine Construction Chamber (Camarco), which represents about 1,400 companies. Camarco warns that up to 220,000 workers could face suspensions if public works remain stalled, affecting a sector that employs around 500,000 people.

OPI Santa Cruz