The country’s cement production is hard hit by an increase in the prices of raw materials in the international market. Sources said the production cost of cement has hiked by Tk 50-60 per bag. The cement manufacturers are in a fix to adjust the prices. Wholesalers and retailers are charging Tk 20 more per bag.
Manufacturers apprehended that price of cement may exceed Tk 500 per bag due to double increase in the prices of raw materials and fare of ship.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has seriously affected international market, especially the prices of crude, bunker and other fuels and industrial raw materials. Shipping cost has jumped following an increase in marine fuel by 50 percent.
It is learnt that five raw materials- clinker, limestone, slag, fly ash and gypsum- are used for the production of cerement. The country has to import all of these raw materials. Of the raw materials used for cement, 62-90 percent is clinker. In the international market, price of clinker has shot up from $60 to $75-79 per ton. Besides, the prices of limestone, slag, fly ash and gypsum have increased by $10-12.
After a hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh and other parts of the world have seriously returned to construction work, creating demand for raw materials. Raw material crisis together with fuel and shipping fare increase has impacted the country’s cement market. It is learnt that shipping fare has doubled due to fuel price hike.
A visit to various markets in the capital on Monday showed that price of cement of various brands jumped by Tk 20 per bag. Shah Special and Supercrete cements were selling at Tk 440 instead of Tk 420 per bag, Scan cement at Tk 470 instead of Tk 450, Bengal at Tk 430 instead of Tk 410, and Mir cement at Tk 425 instead of Tk 405.
Shamim Hawlader, manager of M/s Helmi Enterprise at Kuril area in the capital, said the market of construction materials is unstable. He said the cement price hiked by Tk 20 per bag, apprehending a further hike in the days to come.
Fuel price rise in the international market has caused the shipping fare to be double putting the entrepreneurs in great trouble.
According to international data, clinker price had jumped by $4 to $46 per ton in February last year. Now, it has shot up from $60 to $75-$79 per ton. Cement price in the local market is likely to increase again due to growing trend of the price of clinker.
Wishing anonymity, an officer of a leading cement company said “The cement manufacturers are counting loss due to hike in ship fare and price of raw materials. The entrepreneurs are slugging to survive. If the price of cement is not adjusted, the companies will go extinct.”
Md Shahidullah, vice-president of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA), expressed concern over continuous rise in raw material price and ship fare.
“If Russia-Ukraine war keeps continuing, the cement and steel industries will be more vulnerable. Prices of the raw materials from those countries have already been double alongside rise in shipping cost aggravating the situation.”
BDST: 2029 HRS, MAR 08, 2022