DTI probes Philippine cement price hike

DTI probes Philippine cement price hike

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked Philippine cement manufacturers to explain why prices have risen from a year ago and are above the suggested retail price (SRP).

Trade undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya cited Holcim Philippines Inc which has raised its selling price to PHP218/bag (US$5.3) from PHP195 (US$4.7) last year. Similarly, Lafarge Republic and Cemex both raised their selling prices to PHP220/bag from PHP205 and PHP195/bag, respectively, Maglaya told reporters after a meeting of the national price coordinating council.

Under the rules, cement firms are required to notify the DTI if they plan to raise prices of their products. The SRP for cement is between PHP205-210/bag.

Maglaya told local press that Holcim, Lafarge and Cemex must submit their reports within a week. Meanwhile, new market entrant, Eagle Cement Corp – which had committed to lower prices following incentives granted to them for their cement operations – must now explain why its prices have risen by 10 per cent from PHP210 last year to PHP220 by January 2013.

“We have to ask the reason [for the higher prices]. It may be that they consumed more coal,” Maglaya told the Philippine Star.