Lafarge leads a further British price increase

Lafarge leads a further British price increase
Published: 21 October 2005

Market leader Lafarge has announced a price increase of 6.5 per cent for bulk cement in Great Britain from the 1st of January 2006.  This would come into effect only nine months after a similar price increase for bulk cement.  For bagged cement, the group has pushed through two price increases this year.  It is interesting to note that Britain is currently seeing some of the strongest price increases for cement in western Europe, in spite of a combination of declining demand and the coming on-stream of additional capacity in the form of Tarmac’s new Buxton works.  Normally this combination could be expected to result in British price increases to only recover increased energy costs which would then be would be some way below the European average.  The move to downstream integration and the fact that Aggregate Industries, as the leading importer is now owned by Holcim may well influence this contradiction of economic theory though HeidelbergCement and Hanson remain two major un-integrated participants in cement and ready-mixed concrete respectively. Interesting to see if these latest price increases will stick.