Cement manufacturers’ attempt to hike price in July came a cropper as the demand was weak and construction activities had slowed down. Attempts were made by the manufacturers to hike price in several pockets only to see them being rolled back. Overall, month ended with a fall of 1.1% on all India basis as compared to previous month. However, it should be noted that prices are still ruling slightly higher when compared to the same period in the previous year.
Demand was weak mainly because of the onset of Monsoon when most of the construction activities are slowed down or postponed. Also, demand was impacted due to many local reasons too. For example, floods in Bihar affected the demand for the commodity in the state during the month while scarcity of sand in Jharkhand affected the demand there. Further, re-imposition of lockdown in several regions like Bangalore and Hyderabad also had their adverse impact on the cement demand.
The amount of price correction varied from state to state in North, Central and East region though it was within the range of Rs 0-10. While Punjab and Delhi saw higher price fall of Rs 10, in Rajasthan it was moderate to the extent of Rs 5 per bag. In Uttar Pradesh it was almost flat while in Madhya Pradesh it declined by Rs 5/bag. In East India, Jharkhand and Odisha reported price cuts of Rs 5-10 per bag, while Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal have been able to hold previous month’s price levels.
Most of the Southern states were able to hold on to June level prices in July also except in case of Kerala where price saw a decline of Rs 5/bag. In the West, price was down by Rs 5/bag in Gujarat while in Nagpur in Maharashtra it was down by Rs 10/bag. It was almost flat in Mumbai and Nashik region.
According to cement dealers, cement prices are unlikely to move upwards in August as the construction activities will be on a lower scale due to Monsoon and also due to no major developments on COVID-19 containment efforts.