Cement Prices Shoot Up In South Due To Truckers' Stirk

Hyderabad, Aug 24 | Updated: Aug 25 2004, 05:32am hrs
Owing to the truckers strike, cement prices in the southern states rose by Rs 10 and Rs 15 a bag and are expected to go up in the next two to three days. The increase in the cement prices is largely due to the artificial scarcity of cement stocks in the retail markets caused due to the nation-wide truckers strike.

According to industry sources, while the daily dispatches had come to a standstill, stocks at dealers too are depleting. "The retail stocks are expected to last only till the next two to three days", the sources added.

Andhra Pradesh, the cement capital of the country, supplies an average of about 9.5 lakh tonnes of cement per month to the neighbouring Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. While the state internally consumes somewhere between 6-9 lakh tonnes per month. "The ruling retail prices in Karnataka and Kerala are already at their peak. However, we expect a spurt of about Rs 5 to 10 per bag, while in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh the price rise is estimated to be between Rs 10 and Rs 15 per bag", the industry sources predicted.

The retail price per bag of cement is now ruling at Rs 155 in Karnataka, Rs 165 in Kerala and Rs 150 in Tamil Nadu, according to the sources.

Meanwhile, the cement industry leaders have met in Hyderabad on Tuesday to take stock of the situation and also decided to up the wholesale price by Rs 15 per bag from Tuesday onwards. "The new prices will be applicable on the fresh orders from Tuesday", the sources said.

The companies have already instructed all their offices across their sales territories about the price hike and the respective dealers as well, sources added.