Mumbai: Cement prices are expected to soften as cement companies have announced a price cut following the excise duty cut announced by the government, the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said.
“In view of the real estate slowdown, cement demand slowed down in recent months. Consequently, prices in the eastern and northern regions displayed a softening trend,” the CMIE said in its monthly review.
The Central government on 7 December announced the much-desired across-the-board cut in excise duty. With this, packaged cement that was being charged an excise duty of 12% will attract an 8% duty. In response to this, most of the cement companies have announced a price cut of Rs4-6 per bag, CMIE said.
“We expected cement prices to soften even in the absence of recent excise duty relief,” it said.
Cement production grew by a healthy 7% to 14.8-million tonnes in October. While production in the western and central regions remained flat during the month, northern, central and southern regions posted a strong growth of 8-12%.
Coming over a low base, all-India cement production grew by 9% to 14.3-million tonnes in November 2008. Aggregate cement production during April-November 2008 posted a rise of 7.1%, a tad slower than the rise of 7.7% reported in the year-ago period.