A 10 per cent jump in Ugandan cement retail prices to sh20,000 a bag is a result of an increase in factory prices and a seasonal spike in demand, industry sources said last week. At the beginning of the year, a 50kg bag of cement was selling at sh17,500 in retail outlets. "We have just moved the price up by sh600 per bag to sh16,650," said Robert Nyang’aya, general manager Hima Cement.
"We have kept our prices stable for the last two years but certain factor inputs have risen during the same period," he said. Nyang’aya said the decision was arrived at after the 10 per cent increase in inflation and a 15 per cent appreciation of the Euro. "But the most biting has been the increase in fuel oil, which we use in the manufacturing process," he said.
Nyang’aya dismissed market rumours that increased exports by his factory to Rwanda and eastern DR Congo was causing shortage, pushing prices up. "Exports have not grown significantly and that is not a factor," he said. In late December, the factory price for a bag of Tororo Cement went up from sh14,750 to sh15,350. Other sources attributed the price increments to the peak months of December, January, February, March and April when construction is at the peak. It is expected to slow down in June and July.