Cement prices are all set to go up

01 May 2022

As per the dealer checks by Kotak Institutional Equities, cement producers tried a Rs 15-20 a bag (5 per cent) hike pan-India, led by sharper increases in the south and the east for April. Only a part of this would get absorbed and more such hikes could be attempted in the coming weeks, it said.

Cement prices are set to go up as costlier Asian thermal coal and higher gas price outlook in Europe are likely to swell expenses for cement manufacturers. Power and fuel costs are likely to increase by 10 per cent in the April-June quarter because of a steep rise in coal and pet coke prices in March.

Cost inflation, muted volume growth and inadequate price hikes led to margin contraction for the quarter ended March.

UltraTech reported flat volumes and its power and fuel costs were higher than pan-India peers ACC and Ambuja Cements. Yet, its operating profit per tonne fell the least. Higher prices of petcoke and coal usually reflect in the financials of the cement makers after a lag of 30-45 days.

Margins contracted for ACC and Ambuja as their costs rose. Price hikes in a seasonally strong quarter did offset pressure to an extent.

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