The Vietnam Ministry of Construction has confirmed that the price of cement had increased temporarily in HCMC, partly due to speculation and that the market would be stabilised because of more imminent supply.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Tran Nam blamed higher prices of cement on the fact that traders and producers stocked this commodity in anticipation of higher prices due to strong demand in this economic hub.
Nam told local press that the high demand for cement in HCMC grew by 24% in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year.
The city now consumes up to 40% of the country’s cement output. However, on-the-spot supply can meet only some 27% of the demand and the rest is balanced by imports and the supply from the north.
The higher price of imported clinker last week has resulted in an increase in the price of cement, which stands at VND1.5m a ton at the moment. The situation is also attributable to a sudden fall in supply as cement producers operate perfunctorily.
However, Nam said the demand for cement in HCMC would be eased as 10,000t of cement was on the way to the south to quench the thirst for cement. Many ships fully loaded with clinker and cement will dock at ports in HCMC in the coming days.
The ministry has established an inspection team to look into the production and selling prices of cement, and stocks at makers and suppliers in HCMC and other parts of southern Vietnam.
The inspectors are expected to complete their mission this week and then help the ministry find appropriate measures to stabilise the cement market in the south.
Major cement producers in Vietnam have pledged not to increase their selling prices until the end of the second quarter of this year to support the Government’s drive to curb high inflation in the country.