8:030 AM Puerto Rico – January cement production and sale increased in Puerto Rico as builders struggle with financing. Production in the month increased 26.3% but declined 22.5% in the seven months to January in the latest fiscal year.
Cement production in Puerto Rico increased 20% to 1.42 million bags in January compared to 1.19 million bags in the month a year ago.
The data released by the Planning Board in Puerto Rico showed cement sales in the month increased 26.3% to 1.4 million from 1.1 million a year ago month.
However, cement production in the seven months of fiscal 2011 between July 2010 and January declined 22.5% and sales dropped 10.2% compared to period a year ago.
The cement sales have been hurt in the last two years on the island as the construction industry suffers from the lack of demand and lack of financing available for new homes and buildings.
Puerto Rico consumes more cement per capita than most other nations because of its location in hurricane prone region and also population density.
Demand for cement in Puerto Rico is around 550 kilogram per person a year compared to 272 kilo per person a year.
Prices of cement have been on the rise in the last one year and about one third of the domestic consumption of 1.9 million tons is imported.