Indian cement prices are expected to rise this quarter by Rs 5-7 per bag, owing to better demand in both domestic and overseas markets. The average price of cement in India now is around Rs 155-165 for a 50 kg bag, according to local news reports Analysts also see rising cost of raw materials including limestone and coal as another factor that is forcing the manufacturers to hike prices.
Cement despatches across the country have been growing steadily for the past few quarters. In the north, despatches have been higher due to increased infrastructure activity, while in the west, the growth was driven by higher exports to the Gulf region. A growth in infrastructure projects and a boom in IT and housing activity contributed to cement demand in the southern market. Cement despatches for the first half of 2005-06 went up by 10 per cent to 66.82Mt compared to the same period last year.