Cement price hike on cards

Cement price hike on cards
Published: 27 July 2007

UK cement producers are expected to introduce price hikes next year, according to reports from Construction News.

They are looking to increase the price of bulk cement by as much as 20 per cent by the turn of the year.

Manufacturers are understood to have told ready-mixed concrete producers and precasters of plans to introduce the price hikes in December and January.

The move would see UK£15/t increases slapped on the price of bulk concrete, an inflation busting hit of about 20 per cent on most buying pr ices.

With current bulk material costs pegged at about the UK£70/t mark, any increase would hit contractors hard.

One concrete producer in the north of England said: "Any increase of such a sizeable amount would have a huge impact on contractors because of the knock-on effect on concrete prices.

"The question is whether a price hike of this sort of size would stick." Another said one of the reasons why price increases were being discussed six months in advance was to get the industry used to the idea in the hope they may hold up against market pressure.

A spokeswoman for cement producer Cemex said: "We review prices regularly and communicate with our customers accordingly."

And a spokesman for Lafarge Cement said: "No decision has been made on our pricing for next year."

According to figures from the British Cement Association, UK cement prices have risen below the rate of inflation for the past 10 years.

But this year contractors have had to deal with cement supply squeezes brought on by production hiccups.