While the fate of around 100,000t of Chinese cement detained at two ports on quality grounds still hangs in the balance, the prices of locally produced cement in Karachi have not changed in the last two months.
However, a leading producer claims that prices have been reduced in the Punjab and the NWFP. A random market survey reveals that State Cement is priced at Rs290 (US$4.80) at wholesale and Rs300 at retail stage.
Falcon Cement sells at Rs320-325 at retail while its wholesale price is Rs315 per 50 kg bag. The wholesale rate of Pakland is Rs305 while it is tagged at Rs310-315 at retail level. Dadabhoy Cement is available at Rs280 while it is priced at Rs290. These rates have been tagged for the last two months.
The Chinese cement, which arrived a month back in loose form, now sells at Rs270-290. It is being mainly used in block making.
Karachi Cement Dealers Action Committee (KCDAC) Convenor Shaukat Hussain said that there had been no change in the prices of locally produced cement. However, he added that he did not know whether the prices had declined in the upcountry or not.