Malawi to ease ban on cement imports

Malawi to ease ban on cement imports
Published: 22 March 2016

Tagged Under: Zambia Trading 

Malawi's government has relaxed its ban on the importation of cement to protect consumers from exploitation of high prices by the local industry. Following the issuing of import licences by the government to some importers, legally-imported cement is expected to increase competition and stabilise cement prices in the country. Cement demand has surged due to an expanding construction market.

In the southern region, where cement is supplied by local producers, prices are higher than in Lilongwe in the central region, where imported cement, mainly from Zambia, drives up competition. In Zambia cement prices have fallen from US$10 to US$4/bag following Dangote Cement's entrance into the market.

The prices of cement in southern region, where cement is supplied by local industries, is higher than Lilongwe as in the central region as imported cement, mostly from Zambia, drives up competition.

In Zambia the price of cement has been reduced from US$10/bag to U$4/bag after Dangote Cement introduced its product. Dangote cement is being sold at ZMW59 (US$5.20), which is considerably more expensive than other locally-produced cement.

Malawi's Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson, Wiskes Mkombezi, warned against smuggled cement, saying all imports should be cleared by the ministry to avoid bringing into the country products that may be “ injurious to the public health, public morals and others.” Malawi's Bureau of Standards also ensure that the imported cement conform to the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

Since the licence issuance was put in place, Shayona has increased the price from MWK5500 (US$7.99) to MWK5600/bag. Dangote cement is being sold at MWK5900.