Soaring input costs have forced mini cement units in Gujarat, India to initiate price hikes despite sluggish demand due to monsoon. The cement manufacturers are planning to increase prices by Rs 10 per bag.
Presently, of the 150 mini cement production plants located in Gujarat only 75-odd units are functional. With fewer orders expected in the ongoing monsoon season, the production has been curtailed to 3500 to 4,000tpd.
“Small units have smaller orders in comparison to leading companies. Besides, higher input cost puts tremendous pressure on the mini cement manufactures,” said Pravin Patel, vice president, Mini Cement Manufacturers’ Association.
Coal prices, which have doubled in the past six months, have put pressure on the margins. Besides, increased prices of limestone and higher transportation costs too have lead to a price hike. In March, the coal prices were in range of Rs 3500/t, which is Rs7000/t present.
As the monsoon has put breaks on demand, most manufacturers have stopped production, say industry sources.