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Building Products
A Top Export Prospect for Panama

May 2013

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Market Estimates

(in US$ millions)

2011

2012

2013est

2014est

Total Market Size

975.0

1,084.0

1,188.0

1,306.0

Total Local Production

467.0

514.0

565.0

621.0

Total Exports

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Total Imports

508.0

570.0

623.0

685.0

Imports from the U.S.

360.0

416.0

454.0

498.0


The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Overview

The construction sector in Panama continued its steady growth but the rate of growth slowed down in the last two years, as a result of the world economic situation. Growth is slowing down in 2013 as the construction of the new Panama Canal locks is advancing. The majority of construction in recent years was in middle to high-income apartments and commercial buildings, but the construction activity is now concentrating on low-cost housing and high-end suburban housing, as well as infrastructure. The growth in the construction sector has been fed by retiring baby boomers from the U.S., as well as immigrants from South America and Europe. A growing demand exists for after-construction building products used for improving, decorating or modifying existing buildings.

U.S. building products are well received because of their perceived quality and competitive price. U.S. products in this sector enjoy a market share of over 60%. Major competitors are Taiwan, Italy and Spain. There are no significant restrictions on imported products. Import duties on the vast majority of U.S.-made building products have been eliminated as a result of the Trade Promotion Agreement between the United States and Panama.

Sub –Sector Best Prospects

The demand is especially strong for gypsum board, lighting, and roofing/flooring products. The Canal project is requiring massive amount of cement, aggregate products and steel.

Opportunities

Housing projects, construction of new hotels in Panama City, and infrastructure projects will continue to generate a strong demand for building materials.

Web Resources

For More Information

The U.S. Commercial Service in Panama can be contacted via e-mail at: jeane.zuniga@trade.gov;

Phone: 011-507-317-5392; or visit our website: http://www.export.gov/Panama