UK Ready mix, cement and blacktop prices set to rise in early 2005. Producers are set to increase the cost of ready mixed concrete by around 8 per cent from January 1 and cement prices could go up by as much as 15 per cent. Blacktop prices are also set to rise by more than 10 per cent. All ready mixed concrete producers have revealed they will increase the price of a standard mix cubic metre of concrete by an average of UK£5, lifting it to around UK£70 per cu m. This, producers claimed, is to help offset the increased price of cement and aggregate as well as to cover costs associated with complying with European legislation such as the working time directive (reports the UK-based Construction News).
Materials giant Hanson will reportedly introduce a UK£4.90 per cu m increase on ready mixed concrete, with a further UK£3.70 rise in surfacing products. It will also introduce a UK£5.30 cu m rise on its ready mixed mortars.
RMC and its cement production arm, Rugby Cement, will also boost its ready mixed concrete prices by UK£5 per cu m and its bagged cement prices by 7.1 per cent from January 1. It will also introduce a UK£7.15-pertonne hike on bulk cement from March 1 – says the report.
All the other main materials producers including Lafarge Concrete have followed suit with similar price increases across their products. Castle Cement is due to hike prices by as much as 15 per cent for its material from the beginning of 2005. An RMC spokeswoman claimed that much of the rise was merely clawing back price drops that had occurred over the past year. She said: "Some of the price rise is due to increased pressure from our own rising costs in raw materials but some is also price recovery." A Hanson spokesman pointed to statutory compliance with new European legislation and the expense of water transfer licences as contributory factors to the rises.