Cement prices rose for the second straight month but remained lower than a year ago in May, usually a busy month for construction ahead of the monsoon season.
All-India cement prices rose by Rs 11 a bag over the previous month in May, according to a report by Kotak Securities. It had increased by Rs 9 in April, following a sharp cut in March, the report said.
Cement prices now stand at Rs 331 a bag compared with nearly Rs 349 a bag in May last year.
“Price hike ahead of the monsoon is a usual phenomenon as much of the infrastructure activity kicks in during this time [before the rains],” Sanjay Ladiwala, former president, Cement Stockists & Dealers Association of Bombay, said. “This time, price trend picked up only in April and May after remaining dull in the first three months of the year. Volume push by companies to show higher growth ahead of the financial year has weighed on the trend.”
The hike was pronounced in the southern and western region. Prices remained depressed in the northern and central parts of the country, the report said.