Guyana will soon have cement from the Dominican Republic and later will make Venezuelan cement available to its customers. The Gafoor company hopes to offer cement at lower prices by keeping supplies on the market. Sales Manager at Gafoor’s Houston Complex, Victor Harrinandan, told Stabroek News that from May 3, 30,000 tonnes of Domincim cement, from the Dominican Republic will be available at Gafoor and later cement will come from Venezuela.
Harrinandan said Gafoor intends to flood the market with cement in order to stabilize prices, which are currently very high. Cement is being retailed in Berbice and Linden for over G$2100 per sack; in the city it is being sold for between G$1800 and G$2000 per sack.
For the next four or more months Gafoor expects to keep large quantities of cement in stock and hopefully be able to retail at G$1650 per sack after four months. The company has already received a number of orders and is not requiring a deposit to ensure that the cement is kept. Gafoor branches at Berbice, Parika, Land of Canaan, Houston Complex and at Broad Street, Charlestown will be retailing and wholesaling the cement.
For this first shipment one to ten slings will be sold at G$1675 per sack per sling, from 11 to 50 slings at G$1625 per sack per sling and over this amount G$1600 per sack per sling. The retail price per sack was said to be G$1750, but this was not confirmed.
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) in an interview last week had noted that the government should address the cement and stone shortage problem since the public was greatly affected by high prices and unavailability. Recently, the government signalled its intention to import cement from China and before that from Venezuela.
Extra-regional cement supplies - from Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia and soon from the Dominican Republic - are keeping construction going in the country. Regional supplier Trinidad Cement Ltd has been unable to supply the local market with cement and when the TCL brand is available it is being retailed at G$1950 a sack at places like Toolsie Persaud Ltd. The government has criticised retailers for selling the TCL brand at such high prices since in December the cement sold for a little over G$1000 a sack.