Cap sought on cement price rise, UAE

Cap sought on cement price rise, UAE
Published: 11 May 2007

Limits must be imposed on the frequency and percentage increase of hikes in the price of cement, say manufacturers of concrete products used in the construction industry.

Companies producing products like concrete blocks and road kerbs say regular price hikes totalling 15-20 per cent since the start of the year make it virtually impossible forecast the contracts they can commit to for the year ahead.

Cement accounts for around 70 per cent of the cost of producing some concrete items. According to most firms contacted by Gulf News, the price of cement is now above Dh305-a-tonne compared to Dh260-270 at the start of the year. "At the moment the picture is not clear and it is very difficult to plan ahead," said Nabeel Khudeiri, marketing manager at National Tiles and Block Co Ltd in Ras Al Khaimah.

Khudeiri felt that a single increase per year of no more than 10 per cent (or two annual rises of five per cent or less) at a pre-arranged time will help in better planning of business strategy.

Some are opting out of long-term deals since price volatility means they cannot commit to fixed-price contracts.