Higher Colombian demand prompted massive prike hikes

Higher Colombian demand prompted massive prike hikes
Published: 17 February 2006

The Colombian unit of Cemex will tell Colombia’s antitrust agency that it raised cement prices in December in tandem with higher demand, a company official said Thursday.  "We decided to increase prices in December because demand increased more-than-expected," said Juan Carlos Delrieu, the company’s spokesman for Colombia. "We didn’t agree to fix prices, ever." 

Cemex raised prices by 48 per cent on Dec 23 after Holcim raised prices twice in the same month, first by eight per cent on Dec 9 and again by 19 per cent on Dec 19. Argos hiked prices by 46 per cent on Dec 26. 
 
Last week, the superintendency started an investigation into whether cement makers in Colombia colludedto raise prices after detecting unusual, simultaneous price increases from Cementos Argos SA, Cemex and Holcim. Cemex received an order from the superintendency of commerce and industry to explain the December price hike. The company will send a report to the superintendency early next week, said Delrieu.