Cement no longer scarce but costly, Tanzania

Cement no longer scarce but costly, Tanzania
Published: 28 April 2008

Cement may no longer be a scarce product but its prices still hurts consumers, according to local press reports.

Earlier, it was claimed that the shortage of cement was driving prices high, but with the problem of shortage resolved, one would have expected prices to come down. Yet they have remained unchanged.

Two months ago, retail prices of cement stood at TZS14,500-15,000/50kg bag in Dar es Salaam, but latest survey shows the item now selling at TZS15,500/- and 16,000/-. In some upcountry regions, prices are even higher.

Analysts blame transportation costs due to ever rising world oil prices which have made almost every commodity more expensive.

"We still cannot get consignments of cement to meet demand. But we are also forced to increase prices to cover increased transport costs," said Ali Mohamed, a construction material store owner.

Prices of cement began pushing up seven months ago as demand increased due to a booming construction industry.