Cement factories have tacitly agreed to thirst the market to ensure one tonne of cement does not exceed EGP 800 during the upcoming phase, according to Egyptian Federation for Construction & Building Contractors member Daker Abdellah.
In press conference Friday, Abdellah criticised the increase of cement prices by EGP 50 per tonne last week, stressing that the actual production cost of one tonne of cement is estimated at EGP 280. In addition, Abdallah said the labour wages and the profit margin per cement tonne do not exceed EGP 400, while the price after the application of the latest increase will range from EGP 700-750 per tonne.
Abdellah added that the rise in cement prices to EGP 800 per tonne comes despite reduced quantities produced throughout the winter season due to a decline in demand.
He stressed that the annual production of cement is around 60m tonnes, while it currently stands at 50m tonnes after the decline in production.
Abdellah called for the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) and chambers of commerce to take a strong role in combating the exaggerated increase in cement prices.
He also requested imposing a new licence on cement pursuant to Article 10 of the protection of completion and anti-monopoly law. This allows the government to intervene to impose a new licence on commodities that are witnessing irregularities in prices.
Abdellah suggested several solutions for the cement crisis, including: looking into the creation of a higher council for strategic goods particular to building materials of cement and steel and electric cables among others; the council should be entrusted to coordinate between contractors and producers; and those receiving the services and the government in setting a price for producers with what does not conflict will rules and laws.
Abdellah noted the possibility of requiring factories to set aside a quote supervised by the Egyptian Federation for Construction & Building Contractors to be distributed to construction companies partaking in national projects, and that is in coordination with the Ministry of Supply as well as opening the door for the import of all strategic goods without hindrance.