Manila : Cement makers to raise prices
Three cement companies issued separate advisories to their distributors about the impending price hike for cement products.
Cemex Corp., La Farge Cement Corp. and Eagle Cement are poised to increase cement prices at the earliest possible time this week, according to the advisories.
Cemex’s Rizal cement currently sells for P198 per bag while Lafarge’s Republic brand sells at P197. Eagle Cement sells its product at P193 per bag.
Concerned cement companies could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Holcim Cement, which has yet to issue an advisory, said “prices normally move up and down depending on the season and usually summer is the peak of construction season.”
The planned price hike ran contrary to the Trade Department’s plea to manufacturers to reduce prices based on 50-percent reduction in fuel prices.
Trade Undersecretary for consumer welfare and protection Victorio Mario Dimagiba said his office had not yet received any notice for cement price hike.
The Trade Department and manufacturers have a standing agreement that a manufacturer should inform the agency first before implementing any price adjustment.
Dimagiba said its latest price monitoring report showed that retail prices of cement actually declined. “As you know all cement brands reduced prices in November 2014 from a high of P230,” he said.
The National Price Coordinating Council will meet Tuesday to review existing supply and price situation.
The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines said cement robust sales were observed in all four quarters of 2014, but the fourth-quarter figure posted the highest growth.
Cement sales climbed 9.6 percent in 2014 to 20.2 million metric tons from 19.44 million MT in 2013, on the back of healthy growth in construction.
Fourth-quarter cement sales jumped 15.7 percent to 5.21 million MT from 4.5 million MT recorded in the same period in 2013 while third-quarter sales increased 11.9 percent to 5.4 million MT from 4.8 million MT.
In the first two quarters of 2014, cement sales posted a 6-percent incremental output, reaching 10.7 million MT from 10.1 million MT in 2013.
CeMAP said the ongoing public-private partnership projects also contributed to the rise in cement demand and sales.
It said infrastructure disbursements were channeled mostly to ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in communities devastated by typhoon Yolanda.