Cement prices in the Indian state of Bihar have risen by almost 50 per cent due to increased construction activity and the temporary shutdown of a nearby Prism Cement unit, the Economic Times of India reports.
Bihar, situated in eastern India, has no major cement production facilities and relies on cement from plants located in Satna, MP, where prices have been rising due to heightened building activity. Compounding the issue is the shutdown of Prism Cement’s Satna unit which satisfies a significant share of the Bihar market.
A Prism Cement spokesperson said: "Clinker production in Unit II at Satna will be temporarily suspended as there has been damage to the blending silo. Cement production and dispatches shall continue. Also, operations, both for clinker and cement, at Unit I at Satna continue to be normal."
According to one Bihar-based stockist, cement is currently being sold at about INR365-385/bag compared to INR230-250/bag two months ago. The sharp rise is unprecedented for the state where prices have previously seen increases of around INR30-40/bag.
Competitors such as ACC and UltraTech - which have units close to Bihar, especially in the Satna belt - are now said to be shifting their focus to this market. Speaking to the ET, a senior executive of one of the companies who asked not to be identified said: "This is the first time that there has been such a quantum rise in prices and most of the plants in MP are now rushing to sell in Bihar.”