Cement Prices Fall For Sixth Straight Month
Cement prices fell for the sixth straight month amid weakening demand as construction activity was affected by unseasonal rains in parts of India and a ban in the smog-hit Delhi-NCR region.
All-India average cement prices marginally dipped by Rs 3 month-on-month to Rs 338 for a 50-kilogram bag in November, according to the survey of 12 dealers across five regions.
Sharp price cuts were witnessed in south India, the dealers said, while attempts were made to hike prices in the north, though most of it was rolled back. The central region, too, witnessed price cuts in the month. Dealers, however, said the potential exists for price hikes in north and western regions.
North Rolls Back Most Of Price Hike
The northern region undertook a price hike of Rs 20-25 per bag at the start of the month, but most of it was rolled back in instalments following lacklustre demand and a ban in construction activity in Delhi-NCR region, according to three dealers. But dealers have been notified of price hike of Rs 10 per bag by Ultratech Cement Ltd. which is likely to come into effect in the first week of December once the ban is lifted.
JK Cement Ltd. expects demand to recover in December or January next year.
Prices Fall For Second Straight Month In South
Excess supply amid muted demand due to unseasonal rains weighed on cement prices in the southern region for the second straight month, three dealers told BloombergQuint on the condition of anonymity. Most dealers in that region don’t expect prices to remain at present levels unless demand picks up.
Easte Rolls Back Hikes
Cement prices were hiked by Rs 5 per bag in the east in November but was rolled back partially in the absence of demand, according to two dealers. The liquidity crunch facing the real estate and construction sectors affected demand, which weighed on prices.
Prices Cut In Central India
Cement prices fell by Rs 6 per bag in central India, two dealers from the region told BloombergQuint. Prices were cut despite limited capacity addition as demand failed to pick up.
Prices Steady In Western Region
Cement prices weren’t hiked in west India during the month but two dealers from the region said there’s a possibility that they may be raised by Rs 15 per bag from Nov. 25.