Egypt: floating pound sends cement prices skywards

Egypt: floating pound sends cement prices skywards
Published: 11 January 2017

Tagged Under: Egypt cement price 

Building materials prices have increased sharply in Egypt since the country floated the pound, according to industry sources. They said the price rise could threaten projects, force contractors out of the market and increase property prices by 30 per cent.

The Central Bank of Egypt floated the pound last November to stabilise exchange rates as part of a wider structural and financial reforms programme. The currency has since fallen by more than 50 per cent against the US dollar to EGP18-20 to a dollar.

“Prices of some steel and cement products have jumped by nearly 100 per cent. This will negatively affect projects and put pressure on some contracting firms, who could be forced out,” said Ahmed Al-Zaini, Chairman of the Building Materials Division, Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC). Between July and December 2016 cement prices have soared from EGP550/t to EGP750-900/t.

“The increase in cement prices is due to the control of foreign companies on manufacturing, and these companies have been impacted by the rise in the dollar, even though cement components are local,” Mr Al Zaini explained.