Cement manufacturers blame government for escalating price increase
YOUM7 (Archive)
By AHMED SHADY

CAIRO: Cement manufacturers blame the massive increase of cement prices to the lack of available natural gas for factories and filed several complaints about this to the prime minister, a source told Youm7 Sunday.

On the other hand, a member of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce said that factories, agents and retailers add sums to the prices in a statement to The Cairo Post on Sunday.

Over the last 30 days the cement prices increased by 180 EGP to value 800 EGP ($114) per ton, contributing to the recession witnessed in the Egyptian market.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met Sunday with a number of officials from the cement industry and representatives from the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce to discuss the increase in cement prices.

A statement on the outcome of the meeting will be issued on Monday.

A source from the cement manufacturing sector attributed the price increase to the lack of natural gas allocated for cements companies that would have contributed to a 70 percent decline in production quantities.

The cement manufacturers have sent many official complaints to the prime minster to provide the needed amounts of gas amounts for cement factories, the source told Youm7.

Abdel Aziz Kasem, member of the Building Material Chamber, said the chamber of commerce presented many official complaints to the prime minister and to minister of trade, industry and investment to stop the price increase.

Owners of cement companies accused cement agents and retailers of being the major contributors to the price increase, Kasem told The Cairo Post shortly before meeting with Mahlab.

The government should assign supervisory committees on the cement supply chain to prevent factories, agents and retailers to add extra sums to the cement prices, Kasem recommended.

He contributed the major price increase himself to a lack of state grip on the market, as among the 20 cement companies operating in Egypt, only the National Cement Company is state-owned.

Additional reporting by Samah Labeeb.

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