Domestic producers are expected to make 23.7Mt of cement in 2004. Cement prices at major retailers in Hanoi inreased by VND10,000-20,000 per ton to VND740,000 for Bim Son brand and VND780,000 for Hoang Thach brand, Vietnam¹s two most popular cements. Cement retailers have raised prices concurrent with the escalation of demand in the market place, said VCA¹s president Nguyen Van Thien.
He said however, VCA members will hold the wholesale prices at least for the two months as cement stocks are high, at 1.3Mt. Meanwhile, Tran Ngoc Anh, director of Ha Tien Cement Company, one of the country¹s largest, confirmed: We will not raise prices. However, VCA made it clear it could not commit to maintain prices after the second quarter because of increasing input costs.
Cement input material prices for clinker and paper are already up, and the Vietnam Coal Corporation has also informed us that from July it will increase coal prices despite the increases last month, Thien said.
In a bid to help cement makers, the Ministry of Finance is considering a reduction in import tariffs on clinker from Asean members from the current 20 per cent down to 10 per cent, and from non-Asean members from 40 per cent to 15 per cent.