Cement cap set to rise

The price cap on cement is expected to be officially raised this week to around US $81.7 (AED300) per tonne, according to a source at the Ministry of Economy in Abu Dhabi.

Sources have hinted at a new cap of around US $81.7 per tonne
Sources have hinted at a new cap of around US $81.7 per tonne

The price cap on cement is expected to be officially raised this week to around US $81.7 (AED300) per tonne, according to a source at the Ministry of Economy in Abu Dhabi.

The current cap, which stands at $80, has seen cement and ready-mix suppliers pushing up their prices on a weekly basis over the past couple of months.

This follows recent reports in Construction Week, where contractors and material suppliers have voiced their concerns about the cap and the need for its removal in order to bring back a balance to the market.

A source at the Ministry of Economy said: "At the moment, the cap is still in place but it will probably be raised this week to about $81.7. I'm not sure if it will go higher at a later stage, but this is what we know so far.

Some suppliers have said that the new capped price could reach $98, but there was no official backing on this by the ministry.

"We're expecting the new capped price to be about $98," said Chris Lobel, general manager, Conmix.

"And I don't see why that shouldn't be the case as some of us are still buying cement for more than that amount."

Cement prices have escalated by more than 30% over the past few months with many of the biggest contracting names in the country alleging that cement prices are being manipulated by a cartel formed by the cement suppliers within the industry.

One contractor, who wished to remain unnamed, said: "I know that all the suppliers are in touch with each other and convene before they make any price changes. And in my opinion, that is how a cartel functions.

Cement companies have dismissed the allegations.

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