Cement has become more expensive in Western India with prices creeping up by as much as Rs 3 a bag.
The key markets impacted are Mumbai and some parts of Gujarat. Prices in Mumbai for wholesale customers will now average around Rs 253. While retail price tags will be around Rs 268 per bag institutions will have to pay about Rs 242 for a bag of cement.
Industry watchers believe that price hikes notwithstanding demand in this region will remain strong and so supply constraints are a big worry. The situation is not quite the same in other parts of the country with demand more or less steady.
In the eastern part of the country prices have been flat and there will be no price hike before October. Prices have been up by Rs 3-4 rupees a bag in the south and another hike could be in the offing. Demand has been sluggish and is likely to pick up from October in central India.
Even with issues like water logging at production sites, dispatches in Gujarat in August were approximately 7 lakh tonne against a monthly average of 5 lakh tonne.
Prices could go up as early as Tuesday but a look at cement stocks will tell you that this is in line with what has been expected and the recent price hikes have been factored in.