Pakistan cement manufacturers on Friday raised the prices of cement by Rs 5 to 10 per bag in the wake of rising demand in the country, industry sources told Business Recorder. With this increase, the prices of cement have gone up to Rs 215-245 per bag from Rs 210-245.
Dealers said that some cement manufacturing companies have officially announced the new rates, while others have just informed them on phone. On Thursday, north zone cement manufacturers had increased the prices by Rs 10 per bag while on Friday the south zone cement manufacturers also raised their prices.
It may be noted that the manufacturers have increased the cement prices for the second time within a week, as on last Friday, January 26, they had increased the prices by Rs 15 per bag.
Manufacturers say that since September 2006 cement prices were decreasing, as while in August 2006 cement prices stood at Rs 300 per bag, which came down to Rs 160 per bag in the north zone and to Rs 240 per bag in the south zone in the first week of January 2007. They said that cement companies were facing huge losses due to the high competition in local market but now they have increased the cement price due to the increasing demand, they added.
"Summer is the peak season of construction activities every year; so we are expecting that the prices of cement would rise more in near future," they said. A leading dealer of the cement expressed fear that a new cartel of cement manufacturers was re-emerging after an interval of four months.