No immediate price hike for steel and cement: Minister
Minster of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour - YOUM7/Salah Saied

CAIRO: There will be no price hike for steel and cement in the current period, after the Cabinet’s decision to lift energy subsidies, Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry told Youm7 Friday.

Abdel Nour further noted that the energy price rise for a factory is not yet determined, according to Youm7.

The Cabinet approved Thursday to lift energy subsidies over a five-year period starting this July, without affecting the low-income class, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, said in a Thursday statement.

“The Ministry took into account the social dimensions for the middle and low classes in its new plan for restructuring electricity prices,” he said.

Price hikes for goods are a “normal reaction” to increased production costs after raised energy prices, said Abdel Nour. “We [the government] have urged Egypt’s manufacturers to support their country until overcoming this crisis, but we did not adopt a mechanism for monitoring prices until applying the energy price hike.”

Cement prices have dropped around 100 EGP ($14) per ton during the first week of Ramadan; a mostly fasting work force slows construction in the summer, said the head of the Building Material Division at the Federation of Egyptian Chamber of Commerce.

Cement is now sold at 650 EGP per ton, after El-Arish Cement, an affiliate of the Armed Forces, had injected additional supplies to meet the increasing demand, Zeiny told Youm7 Friday.

Zeiny said he expects the market will resume its boom in mid-August, noting that Egypt will receive two imported cement shipments with a 7,000-ton load late Friday. The imported cement will be sold at 630 EGP per ton, he added.

Steel manufacturers are also expected to keep prices at the same level during July, Sherif Gouda, member of FEDCOC’s Building Materials Division told Youm7, citing the suspension of real estate projects during Ramadan.

The price also declined due to government’s crackdown on illegal buildings on agricultural lands, which affected the demand on steel.

Steel is currently sold to consumers at 4,950 EGP per ton, 200 EGP lower than the price announced by the companies at 5,150 EGP per ton.

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