Dangote Cement increases prices
By Liezel Hill
Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer, has raised the price for the building material in its biggest market of Nigeria after a devaluation in the naira and disruptions to its natural-gas supply resulted in substantially higher operating costs.
The company raised the so-called ex-factory price of cement by 600 naira ($1.90) per bag in its home country, erasing a price cut in September last year, the Lagos-based company said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. Dangote has also stepped up plans to mine its own coal for power generation, the company said.
“We have accelerated installation of our coal mills and coal-mining initiative in Nigeria and now expect to begin mining our own coal in November,” the cement maker said. “Own-mined coal will be cheaper than gas, which is priced in US dollars but paid in naira.”
Nigerian companies are battling a downturn in the Nigerian economy, which slumped 2.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday in an emailed statement. Power cuts are worsening as gas supplies to electricity plants are reduced, partly because of militant attacks on pipelines in the south of the country.
The naira has lost more than one third of its value since June 20, when the Central Bank of Nigeria removed a 197-199 naira peg against the US dollar.
Dangote shares rose 0.2 percent to 175.89 naira by the close in Lagos, valuing the company at 3 trillion naira ($8.9 billion).