Domestic cement majors operating in the southern markets of India have increased the prices of 50 kg bag by Rs 20. According to sources, the firms may go on a despatch holiday in the southern market to enforce this price hike. The despatch holiday could last for a week. Senior industry sources confirmed the price hike and said that the restriction of supply could be a conscious move to push the prices northwards. Major companies that operate in the southern market are Aditya Birla group major Grasim Industries, India Cement, Madras Cements, Dalmia Cement among others.
Meanwhile, in West Bengal cement prices are at an all-time high with retail cement prices ruling at Rs 175 for the 50 kg bag in Kolkata. A cement sector analyst told Business Standard, "Prices in the east have firmed up in the last few days on account of better pick up in demand." While the Rs 20 hike in the southern market will push prices up to Rs 175-180 per 50 kg bag in Karnataka, prices in Kerala will range between Rs 170-175 for the 50 kg bag.
The cement market in Andhra Pradesh still remains depressed with the ruling price at Rs 113-115 for the 50 kg bag in Hyderabad. However, with the Rs 20 price increase, the demand is expected to firm up, analysts said. In Chennai, 50 kg retail cement bags are being sold at around Rs 145.
In other major markets such as Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat, prices are expected to remain unchanged in the next few days. Cement stockists in Mumbai said that prices in the city have settled down to around Rs 170-172 for the 50 kg bag in the retail segment and are unlikely to witness a steep rise in the next few days.