Brokers blamed for cement price hike, Bolivia

Brokers blamed for cement price hike, Bolivia
Published: 25 August 2010

Executives of cement factories Coboce of Cochabamba and Soboce of Viacha in La yesterday claimed that brokers are to blame for a rise in cement prices from BOB52 to BOB58/50kg bag in Cochabamba and other departments.

Coboce Irpa Irpa general manager, José Manuel Ramírez, said there has been no change in price for a bag of cement to the end-customer, including transportation to the site and unloading, for two years and remains at BOB52.

For his part, the Soboce national sales manager, Remi Borda, reported that its product is marketed in Cochabamba BOB52.50, also remains unchanged.

"Having noticed that in recent weeks there has been a widespread demand for our product in Cochabamba, we are dispatching to our official agency on the Sacaba road a bag of cement at the same price than that of a year and half ago," said adding that "the district distributors and hardware stores are those that are responsible to raise prices."

The president of the Departmental Chamber of Construction (CADECAS), Jaime Ponce, said the increase in the private construction of homes and apartments during the dry season (June to September) is causing the rising price of the major construction input in Cochabamba.

"In the last two weeks, hardware stores and shops in the April 9 and Republic streets have secretly driven up the price of cement by saying that there is a shortage of product," Macario said Pinto, a buyer who yesterday bought a bag of Coboce cement for BOB56.