Monday, 14 June 2010 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]
BY BEN ARNOLD O. DE VERA Reporter
BESIDES electricity, cement in the Philippines is also one of the most expensive across Asia, according to the Board of Investments (BOI).
According to data collected by the incentives-giving agency, the average price of cement in the country as of January this year stood at $4.56, or about P212, per 40-kilogram bag.
Local prices are higher than in Japan, where cement costs about $4.32 a bag; Malaysia, $3.90; Taiwan, $3.83; Thailand, $3.27; South Korea, $3; Vietnam, $2.76; and China, $2.44.
Republic Cement will implement a similar price increase in the Southern Tagalog region by the middle of this month.
The company cited higher coal and power costs, especially in Mindanao, as reasons for the price increase. Two Republic Cement subsidiaries are operating in Mindanao.
Holcim Philippines Inc. this month would also bring up prices by between P5 and P8 in Metro Manila and South Luzon, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.
DTI said Holcim Philippines, which supplies a fourth of the market, likewise cited expensive fuel and the erratic power situation in Mindanao reasons for the increase.
The company has plants in Davao and Lugait, Misamis Oriental. One line in Lugait was recently shut down due to the power shortage in the island.
The closure cut down production of clinker, thus requiring importation of more expensive clinker from Japan to supply Luzon plants, the company had said.
Holcim Philippines already raised the prices of its products in North Luzon and Mindanao as early as January this year.
Cemex, meanwhile, deferred a price adjustment in January.
The Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) had said that the volume of cement sold during the first quarter of this year was up 15.7 percent year-on-year, mainly due to election-related spending and the rebuilding of structures damaged because of last year’s strong typhoons.
But CeMAP said the industry would not sustain the strong sales.
The industry would likely post between 4-percent and 6-percent growth this year, it said.