Iranian cement prices are likely to increase by 15 per cent within the next few days, fueling speculations that indices for the product on the stock market would react positively to the move. Managing director of West Cement Company told Fars News Agency that indices are expected to go up drastically. “Once the increase in prices is ratified by the Ministry of Industries and Mines, cement companies listed on the stock market would experience a huge boost in shares,“ Mansour Qadami added. He said top cement industry officials are to meet in Tehran today to discuss the 15 per cent price hike.
Given the growing demand for cement in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the reconstruction campaign in the war-torn countries, Iran is making all-out efforts to raise production capacity to supply the regional demand for the much-needed construction material. Some 38 factories nationwide produced 26.7Mt of cement during March-December 2004, registering an eight-percent increase against the figure for the corresponding period the previous year. Cement exports reached 1.2Mt in the same period, recording a 190% growth. Cement production currently stands at 31.5Mt and this figure is expected to reach 33Mt by March 2006.