Peru and Colombia —which experienced severe lockdowns affecting construction— will see declines in demand in 2020,
said. However, it "expects a rebound in cement volumes in these countries."
By contrast, it said, Brazil and Mexico experienced less restrictive lockdowns and even saw a rise in demand due to remodeling and real estate investment seeking to maintain the value of assets. Fitch expects these two markets to face tougher comparables in 2021.
"The cement sector will face an uneven recovery that most likely will present periods of high demand volatility considering the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the region and the massive economic shock that has occurred," said Gilberto Gonzalez, Associate Director at Fitch.
"A remodeling boom masks the underlying sustainable demand in most markets," he added.
According to the credit rating agency, financial performance across the sector in 2020 was less affected than anticipated at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, "and our forecasts have generally been revised upward."
Over the coming months, Fitch
will be reviewing companies in the sector on an individual basis with the most likely outcomes for companies with Negative Outlooks being an affirmation of the rating with either the revision of the Outlook to Stable or maintenance of the Negative Outlook.