Russia’s largest cement maker, Eurocement, does not expect cement prices to fall further and has even seen some signs that they could increase, its president Mikhail Skorokhod said on Friday. Russian cement prices fell sharply last year, dented by falling demand from construction firms as the global credit crunch made it much harder for companies and individuals to get loans for new houses.
The lifting of import tariffs also weighed, as suppliers from Turkey and China flooded the market. "We do not expect a further fall in cement prices," Skorokhod told reporters, noting that prices had fallen below production costs.
The Russian Stock Exchange, where some cement is traded, said its cement price index rose one per cent during March, its first monthly rise since April 2008. Over the period of contraction, the index lost 60 percent of its value, the exchange said. Skorokhod’s comments chime with some signs of optimism voiced by Russian officials recently, who say the worst of the economic crisis could be over for Russia.