Construction firms fear higher prices

Construction firms fear higher prices
Published: 27 August 2004

The Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP) yesterday warned
that the recent oil price increases and the closure of a major cement firm
is expected to push up prices of construction materials.

In a statement, CIAP noted that even before the latest P0.35 per liter
increase in petroleum prices on Monday, there has been an alarming jump in
the prices of cement and steel.

CIAP said cement prices soared by as much as 20 percent for every
40-kilogram sack, and is now being sold at P160 to P170 per bag from P140.

According to CIAP, the situation is not likely to improve in the near term
as the Department of Trade and Industry has estimated that fuel consumption
accounts for a third of cement production costs.

Meanwhile, a recent DTI cease and desist order on Solid Cement Corp., maker
of Island Cement that has a market share of 40 percent in the National
Capital Region, could lead to plant closure at the end of the month. The
move is seen to further aggravate the supply situation.