Minister for Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh says the high cost of cement in the country is not due to the high cost of production, because the ex-factory price of cement has not changed since August 2009. She attributed the high cost to demand which has been on the high side, and the drastic power outages which affected the smooth production and supply of the commodity.
Ms Tetteh disclosed this in Parliament yesterday when responding to a question on the cause of the short supply of cement in the country and its attendant high price increases. The question was posed by the Member of Parliament for Offinso South, Ben Abdallah Banda.
The Minister stated that the retail price of cement has been stable since January to April 2011, until May this year when the average price of cement rose to its peak of GH¢18.00 for Ghacem and GH¢14.00 for Diamond Cement.
She explained that between May and June 2011, the production plant of Ghacem at Tema, experienced drastic power outages of about 60 hours of power outages a week. This, she noted, adversely affected production and its attendant supply of cement for distribution and sale.
Whilst within the same period, Diamond Cement Ghana limited also experienced a low level of production, due to irregular supply of raw materials.