Cement prices kept their uptrend even in March thanks to strong demand for the commodity. As the elections are just a month away, there is a pick up in the pace of project implementation in last few weeks which has emboldened the cement manufacturers to go for hike in the first week of March.
Southern region has seen the highest spike in the price in March. Our channel survey reveals that price hikes of Rs15-20/bag have been announced in most parts of South region during the first week of March. Also, price hike of Rs 5-10 per bag in Maharashtra and most of the other regions have been announced in March so far.
Cement demand is expected to remain good in the remaining period of March and also in April. However, overall demand scenario in the first quarter of next financial year may get affected slightly due to impending elections.
It may be recalled here that cement prices in general went up across all regions of the country in February (https://www.sawdust.online/news/cement-prices-moved-northwards-in-february/). On an all India basis, cement price went up by an average of 4% in February on month on month basis. Consumers in the South had to bear most of the brunt of price increase followed by the consumers in West in general and Maharashtra in particular. In other regions, however, price rise was moderate. Rise in the price was mainly due to increased government-led demand for various projects, especially on the eve of elections.