Cement prices up for the 2nd time this month in eastern India – ET Infra


Cement prices have been raised for the second time this month in eastern parts of India while remaining steady in central, northern and southern parts of the country, dealers said.

Prices were increased 3-10% earlier this month across regions, spurred by weak monsoon rains in August which helped prop up demand even in the seasonally weak September quarter.

Cement prices are now at record highs in the Kolkata region, at around Rs 410 per bag, while touching a pan-India high of Rs 435 per bag in Odisha, Nomura Financial said in a note. With the price hikes earlier this week, the region has seen prices rise more than a fifth since August.

In Mumbai, company prices are at about Rs 420 a bag, but traders are offering discounts of Rs 10-15 per bag, said a city-based dealer, who did not wish to be identified. In central India, prices have risen up to 2% month-on-month, while prices in northern and southern parts of India have remained largely stable.

“These price hikes are in anticipation of strong demand in the coming months post monsoon as the government continues to spend on infrastructure ahead of the elections,” said Tushar Chaudhari, equity research analyst, Prabhudas Lilladher.

Nationally, cement prices are at about Rs 382 per bag, up nearly 5% monthon-month in September, led by a double-digit hike in the eastern region. For the September quarter, though, average prices are about 2% lower than in the June quarter.

Despite resilient demand, cement prices were under pressure in the first half of 2023 as players focused on retaining and building market share amid incremental capacities coming on board.

“Combined for the past two months (July/August), cement demand increased by low double digits on a high base and we expect this momentum to continue, weather permitting,” Indrajit Agarwal, investment analyst, CLSA, told clients in a note earlier this week.

The prices are likely to persist for another two to three months, but there can be some rollback in case of any weakness in demand which looks unlikely as of now, said Chaudhari of Prabhudas Lilladher.

Prices in eastern India, which were under pressure until a few months ago, could see some correction if demand remains weak after the monsoon, he said.

  • Published On Sep 14, 2023 at 11:31 AM IST

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