Philippines: higher cement prices prompt dialogue

Philippines: higher cement prices prompt dialogue
Published: 24 December 2009

Trade and cement manufacturing officials met recently to discuss surges in retail price of cement in the local market ranging from P10.00 to P40.00 in the past week.

Trade undersecretary for consumer welfare Zenaida Cuison Maglaya told reporters that their regional and provincial offices have monitored these unusual price increases and the claims of some retail outlets that they lack supply.

"We are asking for their (manufacturers’) assessment of the situation in the market," said Maglaya.

The manufacturers explained that reduced production due to scheduled maintenance work and logistics of transporting the cement to typhoon-affected areas led to the price volatilities.

Cemex and Holcim told the trade officials they had not adjusted their suggested retail price (SRP) since October and September of 2008, respectively.

Renato Sunico of Lafarge Cement, manufacturer of the Republic brand, said they adjusted their list price to cover increase in the cost of their production inputs. But he said the price adjustment was only P3—far from the P10 to P40 range based on the trade department‘s price monitoring.