Cement manufacturers may welcome the last month of the financial year with a price hike. According to industry sources, prices have been already hiked in February in some regions and other regions too may follow the suit in the beginning of the new month. The hikes are in line with seasonal price trends and also to address a sharp increase in costs.
At last, much awaited price increase in the Southern region may take place from the very beginning of the month. Southern region may see an average price hike of Rs 35-40/bag though hike may vary from state to state. Dealers expect price hike of Rs 20-50/bag in various southern states which may take prices near to the highs seen in June 2020 levels of Rs 350-400/bag. According to the dealers, demand trend has also picked up sharply across markets of South as well which has encouraged the cement manufacturers to go for a steep price hike. Also, cement and clinker inventory levels are low in system mainly in Andhra market and so the Industry expects that price hikes may go through.
Cement manufacturers are also planning a hike in the Eastern market which has seen multi-year low pricing in December. There have been Rs5-15/bag hikes since then in East and more may be expected in March.
Meanwhile, Western region, especially Gujarat, continued to see good demand for the commodity in February too. This has encouraged the manufacturers to hike the price of cement by Rs 10 per bag in Gujarat from 1st February. February price hike came close on the heels of Rs20-25 per 50-kg bag hike in January. In Maharashtra, though the price remained stable in January, similar price hike was effected from 1st February. Dealers expect the price hikes to sustain, given the strong demand momentum.