Cement corporation vows no price increases in 2005, Vietnam

Cement corporation vows no price increases in 2005, Vietnam
Published: 22 February 2005

The Viet Nam Cement Corporation will not increase cement prices this year in an effort to maintain market stability for the building material, said General Director Nguyen Van Hanh.

He said that the decision follows a recent directive by the Prime Minister calling upon industries to refrain from raising prices on major domestic commodities including cement.

The corporation, the country’s largest cement producer, has asked its affiliated companies to further their cost-cutting in order to ensure ongoing profitability, said Hanh.

Viet Nam Cement Association President Nguyen Van Thien forecasted that the domestic cement market was likely to remain calm thanks to the corporation’s gesture, despite recent price hikes by two rival joint-venture producers, Holcim and Nghi Son. The two joint ventures raised their prices by between VND5,000 and VND20,000 (US$1.25) per tonne early this year.

The corporation has yet to conclude its negotiations with the country’s coal producers about prices, Thien added. Therefore, the price of this important raw material for cement production would not increase in the short run.

"If the coal price remains unchanged, so will the price of cement," Thien stated.

But the association has not ruled out the possibility of a price hike in the future, said Thien, adding, "Cement is not subject to Government price control. Under certain circumstances, enterprises will adjust the price accordingly.

"Stabilising the market doesn’t mean that companies will never be allowed to hike the price."

About four new cement plants will be operational this year, increasing the nation’s overall cement output to 30Mt.