The UAE Contractors’ Association has called on cement producers in the country to withdraw their decision of increasing the minimum price of loose cement to Dh220 per tonne.
"We are against any increase in cement prices at present," Ahmed Al Mazroui, Vice-Chairman of the UAE Contractors’ Association, told Emirates Business. "This increase is useless and local factories will not succeed in implementing it."
He added that any increase in the prices of locally produced cement will lead to an increase in the demand for imported cement, which is sold at lower prices.
Countering claims of domestic manufacturers that this increase was necessary to limit their losses, he said: "This is totally untrue. Increase prices is not a solution; it might, in fact, create further problems for local factories, because the prices of imported cement are logical and acceptable to contracting companies. Any increase in the demand for imported cement might lead to the market moving away from locally produced cement, and then the problem will worsen for domestic producers."
He added that the association was currently co-ordinating with the Ministry of Economy (MoE) to urgently find solutions to the problem. An essential and quick first step for the rescue of the national cement industry from collapse would be to pay contracting companies the payments due to them by some local government entities, he said, so that they could in turn service their dues to the local cement factories.