The ceiling price for cement has been increased by between 3% and 10% effective immediately for peninsular Malaysia, with Sabah and Sarawak to follow later.
The amount of increase will vary for the four regions of the peninsula – north, south, east and central.
The Cement and Concrete Association of Malaysia (CCAM) said in a statement yesterday that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry had approved the price revision, backdated to Dec 1.
However, according to the association, the backdated revision did not mean that cement companies would backdate the charges and bill their customers. Instead, the new price will be effective today.
The cement price in the central region – Pahang, Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya – has increased from RM198 a tonne to RM219.
In the northern region of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak, the new price is RM217 a tonne, while in the eastern region of Terengganu and Kelantan the price is now RM233.
In Johor, the only state in the southern region, the price has been revised to RM224 a tonne.
The revision also means that the ceiling price for a 50kg bag of cement will be adjusted accordingly.
It is understood that some states were put into different regions for this price revision, and prices were also streamlined across particular states.
Pahang, for example, has been moved from the eastern region to the central region, and likewise Malacca, from the southern region to the central region.
The increase follows numerous requests over the years by CCAM to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry for a higher ceiling price for cement, which is a controlled item.
It is understood that production and transport costs have rocketed since the last price review 11 years ago.
Master Builders Association Malaysia chairman Patrick Wong said the increase had been expected for some time now but wished that the Government could have given longer notice.
As for whether house prices would increase as a result, Wong said new housing projects would see the cost of each house increasing by RM400 at the most.
House Buyers Association vice-president Brig-Gen (B) Datuk Goh Seng Toh said he hoped developers would not use the situation as an excuse to increase house prices arbitrarily.
“I agree with Wong that the increase in actual house prices should be quite insignificant,” he said.
Brig-Gen Goh added that, with the recent introduction of the Certificate of Completion and Compliance, house prices should be lower – even with the increase in cement prices – and delivered faster.
“This is because developers can now self-certify and this would mean
the ’unseen’ cost of business would have reduced as there would be no
more red tape,” he said.