As major players push the production capacity further, the cement industry may face tough times ahead. Fresh capacity of 20 million tonnes (mt) will be taking the industry capacity to 370 mt. Overcapacity will dilute the pricing power held by cement companies as they will push additional capacity into the market. On an average cement prices declined by 5 per cent across all-India regions to Rs 289 for a 50 kgs bag in the December quarter against Rs 304 a bag in November. Prices in the western region (Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa) declined the most by Rs 20 a bag to Rs 293, while it was down by Rs 9 to Rs 274 a bag in the central region (Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh).
In the southern region, prices were down by Rs 17 to Rs 316 a bag. In the northern and eastern zones, cement prices declined by Rs 13 and Rs 15 to Rs 269 and Rs 295 a bag, respectively.