Cement prices may soften to Rs220

Cement prices may soften to Rs220
Published: 07 April 2008

Cement prices would soon retract to original range of Rs200 to Rs220 per 50 kg bag in local markets, said Karachi Cement Dealers Action Committee (KCDAC) President Walibhai Patel.

He appealed to the retailers and wholesalers to buy cement carefully, purchasing only according to their needs.

The new government has been informed about the malpractices of cement companies, Patel said. The government has assured that no one would be allowed to manipulate the market. Action would be taken against cement cartels that are supposedly involve in recent cement price hike. Patel said that government has also assured of steps to bring down the cement price to normal levels that in between Rs200 to Rs220.

He said that the cement manufacturers were responsible for the recent increase in cement rates that went up almost Rs80 per bag. Cement companies stoked rumours of impending cement price hike that triggered hoarding leading to artificial cement shortage and ultimately gave cement makers the reasons to raise prices, he claimed.

However, cement makers negate this and say that there are clear indications of high cost of production in cement industry, and that manufacturers are justified in raising cement prices in the country.

There has been a 100 per cent increase in international coal prices, which actually pushed up the cost of cement production in Pakistan. An industry official said, “cost of production has increased due to which on average there has been an increase of Rs25 to Rs30 per 50 kg bag.”

The international coal prices have seen a slight decline in last 2 weeks, “this decline of $6 to $8 per tonne is only five per cent which is minimal compared to the 100 per cent increase in international coal rates,” he added.

Recently, JS research reported that international coal rates slipped from $143 per tonne to $136 per tonne. Globally, cement prices have been rising in many parts of the world and international scenario supports Pakistan being a cement exporter.