Touch Rs 250-260/bag in Hyderabad

Cement prices have once again started to rise rapidly in Andhra Pradesh. Within weeks, the building material has seen two hikes, each time at least Rs 15 for a 50 kg bag .

In October alone, the price in Hyderabad market touched Rs 250-260/bag. Cement manufacturers are upbeat with this upward trend in prices, since the product hit a low of nearly Rs 210/bag in September.

Industry analysts see another round of hike in the coming weeks. In Rayalseema and coastal Andhra, where construction activity, has been gathering momentum, the prices are rebounding faster. At present, they have risen to Rs 290 and Rs 280, respectively.

The hike in diesel prices in September seems to have been leveraged by cement companies to reverse the downward spiral of cement in Andhra Pradesh, which is among the largest producer and consumer of the building material. In neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka, the prices have been steadier, hovering around Rs 280-300.

Transportation

costs, power cuts

Industry sources say the frequent power cuts and the consequent use alternatives as also the rise in transportation costs have forced cement companies to hike prices.

Cement companies see not just a recovery in prices, but growth with the demand increasing, as with the end of the monsoon season, construction activity is showing signs of improvement.

With expectations of resumption and increase in construction activity after the Dasara, cement manufacturers are bullish, but for consumers and realty players, it may not be the best of developments.

somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 29, 2012)
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