Cement companies have advised retailers of a price hike of between PHP7-10 (US$0.16-0.23) per 40kg bag. The price rises will take effect as of next week, 8 March following the increased costs of fuel, raw materials and transport. The local cement industry is dominated by the three global cement firms: Lafarge, Cemex and Holcim.
The wholesale price of Lafarge (Republic brand) and Cemex (Rizal and Apo brands) is now at PHP184 per bag.
Holcim Cement is selling at PHP170 for pick-up and PHP180 for delivered product. In Batangas, the retail price of Holcim cement is between PHP190 to PHP195 per bag.
New market entrant Eagle Cement of the Cojuangco group is selling at PHP182 per bag.
A Holcim official, however, said there could be movement in prices of cement because of the onset of the summer season, traditionally the start of the construction season, increasing demand for the product. In addition, the official said that increased prices of raw materials such as coal and fuel have added pressure on the cement prices. But, the official said, that any price movement would still be within the suggested retail price of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Last week, the DTI held a meeting among the players of the construction sector in preparation for the construction season. DTI undersecretary Zenaida C Maglaya said that prices and supply have remained stable. This is, however, different from the market reports which showed that construction materials have started to spike.