Holcim to expand price hike, Philippines

Holcim to expand price hike, Philippines
Published: 22 September 2008

Holcim Philippines Inc has increased the retail prices of its cement by P12 per 40kg bag effective September 15, citing higher coal costs, an official said yesterday.

Holcim is the largest producer of cement, selling 8 to 9 million bags a month or 30 percent of the total sold in the country. The latest price increase brings the price tag on its cement products to P204 and P223 per bag, up from P190 to P210.

“Holcim said they are raising prices because of higher coal prices, but they still should submit a justification for the increase,” Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said.

“They should justify the increase, otherwise they could be charged with profiteering.”

Holcim last raised cement prices on June 23, and by P5 to P10 per bag.

The company says it imports all its coal from Indonesia, and that prices have been increasing.

Based on the weekly Newcastle Index, coal cost $160.90 a metric ton in August, up from $184.51 in July and $163.38 in June.

Holcim warned in July that cement prices were not likely to ease anytime soon because of the high price of coal, the fuel used to make cement.