Luzhkov urges anti-monopoly service to curb cement prices, Russia

Luzhkov urges anti-monopoly service to curb cement prices, Russia
Published: 12 December 2007

Moscow city mayor Yuri Luzhkov has addressed the government with a request to instruct the federal anti-monopoly service to look in what is happening with cement prices.  
He said the government supported the Moscow city authorities’ initiative to reduce telephone tariffs.  
“We expect the same reaction to cement prices. Until now the federal anti-monopoly services takes no actions in relation to the monopolies that set cement prices,” Luzhkov said.  
“Cement is a bread for the construction industry. And after this everybody is surprised by high housing prices,” he said. 
The capital’s mayor has already addressed to the federal anti-monopoly service following cement price hikes registered on the Russian construction market.  
He believes that “the growth of cement prices may torpedo the national project on affordable housing.”  
At present, the situation on the Russian cement market “is extremely difficult,” sources in the mayor office said. 
Soon after the Eurotsement group bought up most of the country’s cement industry back in 2005, the formation of cement prices turned into a monopoly.  
In early 2005, cement cost 1,440 roubles per tonne (US$60) in Russia. In early 2007, the price grew from RUB2,740 roubles (US$114) to 5,260 roubles (US$220) per tonne in the country on the average and from RUB2,900 (US$120) to 6,500 roubles (around US$270) per tonne in Moscow.