April was in general a good month for cement manufacturers as cement prices remained firm throughout the month. It has come as a great relief for the cement manufacturers who were reeling under subdued market conditions in the first quarter of this calendar. March month was particularly bad for the cement manufacturers as some manufacturers had started offering discount to meet their volume targets. Also, period around Holi saw dullness in demand for the material.
In April, cement prices showed marked improvement up to Rs 10-50 per bag in Southern and Maharashtra region. On the other hand, other regions saw modest price growth of Rs 5-10 per bag during the month. On all India basis, price went up by an average of Rs 13 per bag. While West and South markets were best performing markets in terms of price realisation, East and North came at the bottom in terms of price performance.
As stated earlier, in Western region Maharashtra was the best performer with a price rise of Rs 10-50 per bag, Gujarat saw a modest price hike of Rs 10 per bag. In South, prices went up steeply in the beginning of the month – Rs 10-60 per bag, but corrected slightly as the month progressed.
However, in North prices have remained little weak thanks to increasing competition to gain market share. Also, strict adherence to truck overloading rules in Northern states is acting as deterrent for the suppliers.
Price trend in May also is likely to follow the previous month’s trend. Labour shortage and extreme hot weather may restrict the upward movement in the price.