Pakistan cement makers hike prices despite weak sales

Pakistan cement makers hike prices despite weak sales
Published: 31 January 2008

Cement manufacturers increased the price of 50-kilogram cement bag by Rs20 on Wednesday despite a slump in construction due to cold wave and political uncertainty.

Market sources said that cement manufacturers had increased prices despite 70 per cent fall in sales compared to previous year. They said that cement manufacturers were again forming a cartel to push up rates.

Construction activities are slow during winter. The construction season starts from March and remains on its peak till October. “This year, construction did not slowdown it came to almost a halt due to upcoming election, political uncertainty, death of Benazir Bhutto and shortage of electricity,” market sources explained.

Increasing rates amid a slump in cement sales is totally uncalled for, a cement dealer said. He said that this winter cement sales were only 30 per cent of what they were in summer. “If we were selling 100 bags per day during peak season only 30 bags are being sold these days,” a cement dealer said. Usually cement sale falls 50 per cent during winter as compared to sales in summer. But this year winter is harsher than while political uncertainty is also hampering the construction activities.