Philippines: Cement producers in the Philippines are raising their prices, as increases in fuel prices have not shown any sign of abating and the peak of the construction season is starting.
Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare Zenaida C Maglaya said, that based on the Price Monitoring report released on Friday 23 March 2012, prices of two brands of cement Republic (Lafarge) and Rizal (Cemex) had increased. However, the price of Holcim Philippines Inc. dropped by 2.5% from February to March 2012. In June 2011 Holcim raised its prices by 6% in Luzon. The three global firms dominate the Philippine industry.
Cost of power and coal accounts for 40% of a cement company's total production expenses in the Philippines. Most of the cement firms source their coal supply from Semirara Coal Corp. Construction activities are higher during the summer months, normally starting early in the year and peaking in May.
Construction activity was fuelled by private sector spending in 2011, as the government did not spend much on infrastructure projects. However the Aquino administration has started accelerating investments and implementation of major infrastructure projects in 2012. Both infrastructure and private sector investments in property developments, including housing and commercial establishments, are expected to boost demand for construction materials, including cement.