Tanzanian cement producers highlight price hikes

Tanzanian cement producers highlight price hikes
11 November 2020

Dangote Cement in Tanzania apologised to the government for the failure to communicate to the public on the temporary shutdown of its plant for maintenance, which caused price hikes across the country.

"I would like to apologise for not communicating the shutdown to the government and the public on time," said the plant’s senior officer, Glagu Shuma, noting that the management of the plant has already made adequate arrangements to supply the cement to the general public including major contract customers.

"We have made arrangements to supply the cement to all customers and to the general public by Wednesday as the plant reopens for operations," he said.

Mtwara Regional Commissioner, Gelesius Byakanwa, ordered the management of the plant to immediately publish the actual prices of the cement to their customers to stop further inflation. "You should publish the actual cement price to your customers to stop further inflation," he said. He noted that maintenance should not be termed as an emergency, instead the public must be informed on the matter to address shortage of supply in the market.

A bag of cement had been sold at around TZS19,000/bag (US$8.19/bag) in urban areas while the actual price is TZS11,000/bag, according to Mtwara traders.

However, Yves Mataigne, commercial director of Twiga Cement, said that the high demand for cement had led traders to hike prices, according to Dativa Minja. Three weeks ago the company met with its distributors and asked not to raise cement prices as the plant had not made any price increases. But the company’s production of 160,000tpm is insufficient to meet the country’s current cement demand.

Nyati Cement’s Assistant Sales and Marketing Manager, Michael Prosper, said it had not raised the price of cement but blamed the business community for unnecessarily raising prices. Its production capacity of 60,000tpd is also insufficient to meet current demand. However, he noted that post-COVID-19 demand has doubled. "If the price of cement on the street has gone up, then the sellers have taken advantage due to the decline of cement supply in the market," he said.  He added that the huge number of ongoing construction projects countrywide has created high demand for cement while supply seems to have remained constant.

Published under Cement News