India: cement majors advocate higher prices

India: cement majors advocate higher prices
Published: 23 December 2011

Vicat (France) has joined Swiss major Holcim in advocating higher prices for cement in the Indian market, according to a report in the Business Standard.

Markus Oberle, country head, Vicat group (India), told Business Standard, “The minimum price of cement (50 kg bag) should be INR300 (US$5.7) in India. The cost pressures are on a rise and there are several challenges for the industry here.” Vicat holds a majority stake in Andhra-based Bharathi Cement.

Paul Hugentobler, member of executive committee of Holcim, reportedly told the Business Standard that there could not be any escape from price rise. An official from Holcim Group company ACC also cited INR300 as the target price for a bag of cement.

Currently, the all-India average price is at an all-time high of INR280 a bag. The sharp rally post-monsoon happened when the industry was struggling to achieve half of its estimated growth target of 10 per cent.