India prices rise despite duty cut

India prices rise despite duty cut
Published: 26 March 2009

Cement prices have gone up by about Rs10 a 50kg bag in March owing to an increase in demand and transportation constraints, reports The Hindu Business Line. However, dealers expect demand to plateau at the current level, indicating that there will not be any further price increase for some time in major markets. The Centre cut excise duty by four percentage points to eight per cent in February.

Prices were hiked by Rs3-5 a bag in the first week of March and again by Rs5 a bag between March 16 and 20, said a city-based dealer. Together with the hike in March, cement prices in the last 6-8 weeks have gone up by Rs12-15 a bag.

On an average, the all-India cement price, which touched Rs 239 a bag in last week of February, may reach Rs245-248 by the month-end.

Though there was a marginal uptake in demand across regions, supply constraints and transportation problems have paved the way for the rise in prices.