NEWS & EVENTS ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

Cement prices to remain

After announcing a hike of up to 50 per cent in the price of cement, cement industry players have agreed not to increase prices, following a meeting with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry on 18 June.

“They stated several grounds to justify an increase in the cement price due to costlier imported materials used in making the cement because of the weak ringgit,” said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“However, following yesterday’s meeting, they agreed to not increase the cement price,” he said, as reported by The Star.

Industry players were also reminded to discuss with the ministry if they intended to increase the price of cement because cement is price controlled.

Earlier this week, the Cement and Concrete Association of Malaysia announced that the cement industry had been struggling with more expensive electricity, packing material, imported fuel, materials, engineering spares and equipment.

“While the industry has been absorbing these cost increases, cement prices in Peninsular Malaysia have been on a downward trend since 2016 and has reached a level that is not sustainable,” it said in a statement.

Since then, several cement and ready mixed concrete players had reportedly issued price increase notices.

In the event of a 50 per cent price hike, cement would cost between RM270 and RM290 per tonne, compared to only about RM190 per tonne previously, according to AmInvestment Bank Research. This would have a chain effect, resulting in costlier development projects and higher property prices.

The concerns also came on the back of the recent takeover of Lafarge Malaysia Bhd by YTL Cement Bhd, which would give YTL a 60 per cent market share in Peninsular Malaysia. — Construction+ Online

cplus-ad3