Cement prices of various cement brands in Pakistan have hit a record peak of PKR355 to PKR395 in Pakistan after the budget as the same was available at PKR290 to PKR310 before. In May the price had been hovering around PKR240 to PKR270 per 50kg bag.
AS per report “Falcon cement at the retail side was available at PKR 370 to PKR 380 as compared to PKR 350 last week. In April it was sold at PKR 290. The Lucky cement price is tagged at PKR 355 to PKR 360 as compared to PKR 330. In April Lucky cement was available at PKR 275. Even Javedan and State cement are available at PKR 350 as compared to PKR 290 in April.”
A cement dealer said that the manufacturers are creating artificial shortage by supplying very low quantities in the local market and exporting huge quantities. He said that it seemed that there was no authority or the government to check the monopoly of the manufacturers. He added that the cement prices were supposed to rise by PKR 10 per 50 kilogram bag after the imposition of federal excise duty and one per cent additional sales tax but the cement makers increased the prices of their free will.
A leading cement manufacturer said that his company had increased the rate only to PKR 325 per 50 kilogram bag from PKR 300 after the budget with increase in FED, impact of gas tariff hike, coal price increase and rupee dollar parity.
He said the dealers had been seen charging PKR 380 to PKR 395 for Falcon cement without any reason as its price at retail should range between PKR 350 to PKR 360 per 50 kilogram bag. He added that even the paper bags price also surged to Rs16.60 per bag from PKR 13.30 after the budget.
The manufacturer said that local sales during 2007-08 surged to only 22Mt from 21Mt in 2006-07. However, the industry exported seven million tons of cement to various countries as compared to 3.5Mt in the year before.