The Vietnam Cement Corporation (VNCC) has categorically ruled out an increase in cement prices despite the rising prices of imported raw materials. "With a responsibility to stabilise the cement market, the corporation would not raise prices and make it even more difficult for the construction sector," Nguyen Van Hanh, its general director, said last Friday. The VNCC is the largest cement producer in the country with a 48 per cent market share. At a conference in Ho Chi Minh City last week, Tong Van Nga, deputy minister of construction, had said that the Government would not allow a price hike since the construction sector was already reeling from increased steel prices.
The construction ministry would ask the Government to cut the tariff on clinker from 20 per cent to 10 to cement makers. The cost of clinker, oil and other inputs have been rising since early this year putting a strain on cement producers’ bottom line. So, the VNCC would try to lower production costs, Hanh said. Its PCB 30 cement now sells at VND720,000- 770,000 per tonne in the north and VND800,000- 920,000 in the south.
Some other domestic cement producers have sought Government permission to raise prices. However, the trade ministry’s domestic market management team said prices remained at around the same levels as VNCC’s. The corporation expects consumption of 25.5-26Mt of cement this year, 10-12 per cent higher than last year. Domestic producers are expected to make 23.7Mt.