Even as the agreed moratorium has come to an end, the woes of cement industry is likely to continue till the end of the monsoon as it finds difficult to pass on the raw material costs to consumers due to slackening in demand.
"Forget about hiking price. Cement makers have actually reduced price by Rs 3-5 per 50 kg bag in the northern and western markets. This is because of poor demand. They will have to wait till sales pick up after the monsoon," an industry official said.
Monsoon usually brings cloud on the face of the cement makers as construction works in most parts of the country comes close to a halt or not at all in certain areas.
A spokesperson of a large cement firm said that since there was no moratorium after August 13, every justification was there to increase prices as the cost of raw materials was risen upto Rs 15 per bag since the beginning of the agreed moratorium in May.
"But, I can’t tell you whether we will raise the price or not. This is not company’s policy," the official said.
Cement makers had agreed to freeze any price hike of the commodity for three months starting from May to help the Government in its fight to rein in inflation.