Cement prices to remain stable over next six months

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) Country's cement manufacturers today said the price outlook for cement will remain stable for the next six months.

''The demand and supply matches and price outlook is stable with only slight and no big changes in the level of prices,'' said Cement Manufacturers Association President H M Bangur.

Mr Bangur said the price increase for the April-November period has been less than three per cent and also less than the average rate of inflation.

He added that it was an understanding between all the manufacturers that price increase was not a measure to off take high input and logistics cost. ''We are not looking at price increase as it is more important to control the cost of production,'' said Mr Bangur.

Coal prices, a significant input in cement production has increased by as much as 26 per cent and logistics cost in the form of higher diesel and freight charges may further add to the retail cost of cement.

Prices of cement has shown a constant rise in the country and it is believed that high input cost and the demand supply mismatch has led to the secular rise in cement prices in the country. The construction season is expected to further fuel the demand for cement.

The prices in South India, often considered the highest prices for cement in the country, is around Rs 260 per bag.

However, Mr Bangur said the short supply of cement in the country is far-fetched and that the industry is able to meet to cater to the domestic demand.

Incidentally, the cement industry in the country exports anywhere from 10 million tonnes in the peak time to seven million tonnes annually.

UNI

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