Philippines cement prices seen stabilising

Philippines cement prices seen stabilising
Published: 03 February 2010

Philippine cement prices are stabilising, the Trade department yesterday said, as several manufacturers have either backtracked on plans to raise prices or are being made to explain reported cases of overcharging.

Cemex Philippines has taken back an announcement to slap a 5% increase for its cement products after the Trade department demanded justification, Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya told reporters yesterday.

Lafarge Philippines, meanwhile, has been ordered to refute a dealer’s claim that the manufacturer was selling cement above the P190 government suggested ex-plant price for per 40-kilo bag.

"Prices have stabilized and supply has normalised," said Ms. Maglaya.

Earlier, the department had at one point issued 150 notices of violation to retailers found selling beyond the reference price and even threatened to impose a price cap, as consumers seeking to repair storm-damaged homes complained of cement priced as high as P270 a bag and inadequate supply. It went on to consult manufacturers to gather suggested ex-plant prices to be used to police dealers and retailers.