Economy & Market
Cement prices bounce back
After a fall in the last two months, cement prices are now surging up. The recent boost in coal price, combined with the hike in railway freight charges, have pushed the cement price by around 5 per cent, a rise from Rs 293 per bag to Rs 308. In Andhra Pradesh, cement prices were up by Rs 90 per bag in the last two weeks as a consequence of controlled production in the pre-monsoon season. Sharp price hikes in the south were followed by the western and central regions of the country. Although April and May are considered to be peak seasons, the demand for construction material remained subdued. Ashish Guha, CEO and MD of Heidelberg Cement, said that while the company had expected a ten per cent increase in demand, the actual pick- up has been half that. The company, too, has raised cement prices by Rs 2-5 per 50 kg bag in some markets. Guha hopes that the monsoon this year will not be as bad as previous years.