Bucking historic trend, cement prices rise in Q3

Dealers say there has been a sharp uptick in non-trade prices especially in the north as improving institutional demand for large infrastructure projects. A bunch of cement stocks have scaled fresh 52-week highs in this month. These include pan-India companies Ultratech Cement, Ambuja Cements and regional players JK Cements and The India Cements, among others. Latest dealers channel checks show sustained recovery in demand, which is aiding cement prices.

“Our channel checks suggest that demand has remained strong and prices this year have bucked the trend of weakness seen in the pre-festive season (Diwali) every year,” Motilal Oswal Securities report said on 24 November. In north, east and central India, cement volumes are growing over 10 per cent, said the report. “In 3QFY21, average price is up 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter so far across India versus a decline of 1.1/0.7 per cent q-o-q seen in the past five-10 years. The same is up around 7 per cent year-on-year to Rs 360 per bag," added the report. One cement bag weighs 50 kg.

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