Indian prices to stay stable

Indian prices to stay stable
Published: 12 May 2008

Indian cement players have decided to keep cement prices stable in the current quarter, in spite of the rising raw material costs. The Centre has asked cement Companies to reduce prices in its bid to curb inflation, which is at a three and half year peak.

India’s largest cement maker ACC Ltd has decided to keep cement prices stable over the next 2-3 months responding to concerns expressed by the government, said a company release late Thursday. "The move will erode margins despite the company maintaining cement production at peak levels at all plants and further improving operational efficiencies," said Sumit Banerjee, MD, ACC Ltd, in a statement.

Similarly, J K Cement also confirms that the company has no intensions to increase the prices in the coming months. Says AK Sarogi, CFO of JK Cement Ltd, "There is lot of commitment on the capital expenditure front. And despite rise in input costs, no further increase in the cement prices will affect the margins. Moreover, we have already absorbed all the cost increase that has put our margins under pressure."

It is understood that the cement manufacturers will meet the government to come out with a possible solution for rising inflation. ACC Ltd also said, "The company will engage in an open dialogue with the government to explore viable solutions to combat inflationary trends that have disproportionately increased its input costs."

However, no date has been decided, H M Bangur, V-P of Cement Manufactureres Association (CMA), said that, "No date has yet been fixed for the meeting with the government officials."