One industry that appears to have benefited from the delayed monsoon is the cement sector, which today saw a Rs 4-5 per 50 kg bag hike in product prices region wise.

Analysts maintained that sustained demand has helped producers price their products better.

While there is no doubt that the price hike is a definite positive for cement companies (ACC, Grasim, Birla Corporation etc), it is perceived as a negative for construction companies (such as Nagarjuna Construction, HCC etc) who are likely to face cost pressure.

Adding a note of caution, analysts said that once monsoon is in full flow, prices would recede.

However, over a longer period this is not expected to hurt profits.

Deeptha Rajkumar

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 22, 2006)
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