New Delhi

Cement demand across India continues to be moderate with attempts at price hike yet to materialise on expected lines.

Market representatives said extreme heat and shortage of labour due to the elections kept cement demand and prices muted in April and May, and some “movement” is anticipated in June as construction activities pick up.

Pent-up demand along with pre-monsoon construction activities may aid in demand uptick mid-June onwards, said a cement-manufacturer.

However, labour shortage is likely to continue despite the elections ending mainly due to the beginning of the harvest season.

Price check

Research firm, Anand Rathi in a recent report said attempts to hike prices in various regions are being made. But doubts regarding the sustainability of these steps remain “owing to monsoons and labour shortage aggravated further by the harvesting season, coupled with high heat and liquidity constraints.”

Incidentally, cement companies during their earnings call have maintained that general elections and labour shortage will have a bearing on volume and demand for Q1FY25. Onset of monsoons would further push back recoveries in the sector to H2 (Oct-onwards).

Some cement-makers like ACC and Ambuja Cements, JK Lakshmi Cement, among others have guided for prices to improve H2-onwards; there are many who have predicted towards price stability.

“Cement prices declined by 4 per cent y-o-y and 2.5 per cent q-o-q, and are currently lower by 1 -2 per cent from the average cement prices of Q4FY24,” Axis Capital said in a report


In the southern markets, particularly, Bengaluru and in the region, cement prices “were stable” with no price hikes initiated due to poor demand (down 15-20 per cent y-o-y) mainly owing to labour unavailability during the elections. No cement price hike has been announced in June.

In Chennai, while billing price remained the same, selling price was hiked by ₹50 per bag, announced in June, Anand Rathi said in its report.

In Hyderabad, price hikes announced were of between ₹20 and ₹40 per bag.

Across central and north India , heat and labour shortage kept demand and prices muted post March.

Price hikes were reportedly announced in some markets like Indore, but they are yet to materialise.

Channel checks carried out by Anand Rathi showed prices to have declined in Kanpur and Lucknow. In Delhi, weak demand in April and May (down 20-25 per cent y-o-y) kept prices under pressure.

Moving to the east India markets, Kolkata saw cement prices fall by ₹20-25/bag post March on weak demand (down 10-12 per cent y-o-y). In Patna, discounts are being withdrawn whereas in Bhubaneshwar, cement prices decreased, the research firm said.

In Mumbai and other markets of West India, like Nagpur, dealers expect pre-monsoon demand uptick in June.