More cement makers warn of price rises in UK

More cement makers warn of price rises in UK
Published: 15 September 2006

Castle Cement will increase prices for its bagged products by 10 per cent from the end of the month following last week’s announcement from Lafarge Cement that it will introduce a 15 per cent price rise on bagged and bulk material, reports Construction News.


Prices for Lafarge’s bagged cement, including its Mastercrete and Blue Circle brands, are set to rise from October 1, with bulk cement prices ready to rise at the turn of the year.  


Castle blamed spiralling energy and raw material costs for the hike.  


A spokesman said: "Despite the introduction of energy saving and more efficient plant, and the increased use of alternative fuels, price pressures brought by the ever increasing energy and manufacturing costs are forcing us to look at our price structure.  


"Our bulk prices are under review."  


But not all producers have decided to introduce price increases straight away.  


Rival producer Cemex, which manufactures the Rugby range of cements, claimed it had no plans to introduce price increases on either its bagged or bulk products. 


A spokesman said: "We constantly monitor the market and take increased energy and raw material costs into account.  


There are currently no plans to introduce price increases but we will continue to look at the situation."  


Ta rmac’s cement p roduction arm, Buxton Lime Industries, is also thought to be mulling over price hikes.  


The Lafarge increases would see bulk material costs hit the £100 per tonne mark. Some contractors are worried that the rises would have an effect on prices for ready mixed concrete and concrete products.  


One south Yorkshire-based builder complained: "The rise in bagged prices will hit me hardest but in the long-term those increased prices will have to be tacked on to ready mixed prices and that will hit everyone."  


Concrete producers would not confirm their prices would go up due to the increase in cement prices but insiders reckoned rises were unlikely before the end of the year.