Displaying items by tag: Brazil
Brazil: LafargeHolcim will strengthen its cement production network in Latin America today, with the opening of a new cement line at its cement plant in Barroso, Brazil. The group says that the construction of the new line at the existing Barroso site is part of the group’s strategy to reduce the cost per tonne of its cement, while improving quality and efficiency, in order to operate profitably in a low investment environment.
The new line in Barroso, which LafargeHolcim claims to be the most modern in Brazil, will increase operational efficiency and cost competitiveness based on its state-of-the-art technology. Equipment includes the world's largest vertical cement mill from Gebr. Pfeiffer and an FCB Horomill for raw materials. The plant’s total capacity will rise to 3.6Mt/yr and the new line will allow the total cost per tonne of cement to fall by around 25% from 2014 to 2017.
Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim, said, “The opening of Barroso is key to our strategy in Brazil and will allow us to further improve our cost structure while we continue to supply our customers with our high-quality solutions.”
Brazil: Magnesita’s net operating revenue has dropped by 17% year-on-year to US$66.9m for the first quarter of 2016 from US$80.2m in the same period in 2015. The company’s sales volumes of refractory materials fell by 8.7% to 232,000t from 254,000t. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 12.8% to US$11.4m from US$13.1m. The company blamed the falling revenue on falling steel production in South America and Western Europe and on a poor construction market in Brazil negatively affecting its cement clients.
"2016 began with interesting prospects for Magnesita. While the world is mired with excess steel production, uncertainties surrounding the Chinese economy and substantial political turmoil in Brazil, we have begun to see green shoots coming out of the US (our most relevant market) and the first results of the array of self-help initiatives Magnesita has overtaken in the last few years,” said Octavio Pereira Lopes, Magnesita’s chief executive officer. He added that the quarterly drop in steel production in Western Europe was driven by a 39% drop in the UK due to capacity shutdown.
Brazil: Cement sales have fallen by 14.5% year-on-year to 13.9Mt in the first quarter of 2016 from 16.3Mt in the same period in 2015 according to the Sindicato Nacional da Indústria do Cimento (SNIC). Local cement companies estimate that sales and apparent consumption will fall by up to 13% in 2016.
A survey by SNIC shows the sales began falling in mid March 2014 due to problems in the construction industry. However, SNIC president José Otávio de Carvalho said that this is not the worst crisis faced by the cement industry. In 1982 cement consumption fell to 19Mt from 27Mt in 1982.
Brazil: Votorantim’s cement sales volumes fell by 6% year-on-year to 35Mt in 2015 from 37Mt in 2014. However, net revenue from the group’s cement business rose by 6% to US$3.82bn. The Brazilian industrial group blamed the loss of sales volumes on the poor economic situation in Brazil. However, its revenue rallied due to currency variations and growing sales outside of Brazil.
Overall across all business sectors Votorantim reported that its revenue rose by 11% to US$8.57bn. This was supported by higher metal prices in Brazil and positive effects from the consolidation of the group’s foreign operations. Net income dropped by 77% to US$103m
US: Martin Engineering has launched its bimetallic wear plate product Arcoplate around the world. Originally the wear plate was sold only in Brazil by the bulk handling products firm.
Martin Arcoplate uses a chromium carbide-rich metal alloy face plate with a steel back plate to resist gouging, erosion, temperature extremes and material build-up. It is marketed for excessive wear and material accumulation issues with bulk material handling. It is available in three grades. Alloy 1600 is designed for high abrasion and high impact applications. Alloy 1040 is engineered for moderate impact and cyclic temperatures up to 500°C. Alloy 8668 is suitable for extreme temperature applications, with cycles up to 700°C. Each derives its abrasion resistance from the M7C3 carbides (1500 - 1800Hv), with an average of 60% carbide dispersed through a softer, tougher matrix.
Arcoplate is manufactured by Alloy Steel International in Malaga, Australia.
Brazil: Magnesita’s revenue has risen by 18% year-on-year to US$937m in 2015 from US$796m in 2014. Its net loss decreased to US$294m in 2015 from US$27m in 2014. The company described 2015 as a year ‘marked by a challenging economic environment globally.’ It noted a drop in steel production in the US due to high imports, currency effects and the poor economy in Brazil.
The manufacturer’s production volumes of refractories fell by 6.9% to 958,000t in 2015 from 1.03Mt in 2014. However, its sales revenue from its refractories business rose by 15.6% to US$816m from US$706m. Although the majority of Magnesita’s refractory sales were to the steel industry, its sales volumes to other industries, including cement, fell faster in 2015 by 11.7% to 133,000t. This decrease was mainly attributed to the decline of the Brazilian cement industry and by lower demand for cement in Venezuela. Despite this, sales volume growth of 15% was reported in Middle East and Africa led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Brazil: InterCement made a loss of Euro43.7m in 2015. In 2014 it made a profit of Euro50.1m. Its revenue fell by 4% to Euro2.49bn from Euro2.6bn. It attributed the loss to an economic downturn in Brazil and unfavourable exchange rates.
“This was undoubtedly a challenging year for InterCement, particularly due to the macroeconomic situation in Brazil, which accounts for about 35% of the cement production, the largest contribution within the company. The scenario was even more complex, as coupled with the economic downturn in the largest market where it operates, InterCement faced average unfavourable exchange rates,” said CEO Ricardo Fonseca de Mendonça Lima in a statement.
He added that the company’s decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin remained high in the international cement market at 20.8%. EBITDA fell by 18.2% to Euro518m in 2015. The cement producer reported that overall cement and clinker sales fell by 6.1% to 28.1Mt in 2015 from 30Mt in 2014.
By region, InterCement has temporarily suspended it grinding plants at Jacarei and Suape and its clinker kiln at João Pessoa in Brazil to cut costs. By contrast its plants in Argentina were working a full capacity in 2016. Co-processing developments were noted in Egypt and Portugal. The Alhandra cement plant in Portugal was the first unit in the company to beat a 50% co-processing monthly rate. A production decline was reported in Cape Verde and operational difficulties in Mozambique led to a kiln stoppage.
Brazil: Votorantim Cimentos has launched a new portfolio of bagged cement for the Brazilian market. The launch follows research with construction professionals and stakeholders. The company then set up a multidisciplinary group to develop its new portfolio of bagged cement from a consumer's viewpoint.
Specific products have been developed for different types of construction work. ‘Obras Estruturais’ is intended for foundations, columns, beams and structures. ‘Todas as Obras’ is intended for plasters, subfloors and slabs. ‘Obras Básicas’ is intended for repairs and renovations without structural function. ‘Obras Especiais’ is intended for industrial use as pavers, precast and artifacts. ‘Obras Especiais em Meios Agressivos’ is intended for coastal areas, pipes and sewage treatment facilities.
“For the non-specialist consumer, buying cement will be easier, more convenient and safer. For retailers and professional workers, this will bring more confidence in their recommendations, ensuring high quality and productivity at the construction site,” said Walter Dissinger, Global CEO of Votorantim Cimentos.
Brazil: The office of the Superintendent-general of the antitrust watchdog Cade has recommended a penalty with fines to Votorantim, Holcim and Cimento Tupi for a coordinated refusal to sell certain types of cement in São Paulo state. According to the office, these companies damaged free competition and made it hard for potential competitors to enter the market.
The office also said that there was not enough evidence against Cimentos Liz, Cibrasa, Ciplan, Cimpor, Itabira, Itaguassu, Itambe, Ibacip, Itapessoca, Itapicuru, Itapetinga, Itapicuru, Itapissuma, Itautinga, Intercement and Lafarge and that the administrative process should be dismissed. Cade's own tribunal will have the final decision on whether the cement firms will be fined or not.
Portugal: Semapa has reported that its cement sales grew by 11% year-on-year to Euro477m in 2015 from Euro430m in 2014. It attributed the increase to growth in turnover of operations in Portugal, Lebanon and Angola and the integration of the Supremo Group on 1 July 2015.
Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation for its cement business grew by 14.7% year-on-year to Euro85.4m from Euro74.4m in 2014. However, its pre-tax profit fell to a loss of Euro18.3m from a gain of Euro9.7m a year earlier.
The Portuguese industrial conglomerate noted that cement sales in Portugal rose by 3.4% year-on-year in 2015, the highest increase since 2008. In Lebanon it reported a 8.6% year-on-year drop in cement consumption in 2015. In Tunisia it reported a drop in cement demand in the second half of the year. In Angola it reported that cement consumption fell by 11.7%. Despite these market conditions its turnover in Lebanon and Angola grew in 2015.
In Brazil Semapa acquired the remaining 50% of the Supremo Group in June 2015, taking control of its 2Mt/yr production capacity. However, Semapa reported SNIC data that the Brazilian cement market has dropped by 9.2% in 2015.
Looking ahead, Semapa forecasts that the cement market is expected to drop slightly in 2016 but with growth in Portugal.