Filipino cement producers asked to justify prices

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Philippines: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked cement producers in the Philippines to justify recent price hikes that led prices to exceed the suggested levels set by the agency.

Trade Undersecretary Zenaida C Maglaya said the three largest cement firms in the country - Holcim Philippines, Lafarge Republic, Cemex Philippines - have started submitting documents to support adjustments in their prices. Eagle Cement is set to meet with DTI and Board of Investment (BOI) officials to explain its pricing scheme. Maglaya said one of the large cement manufacturers had made a submission but had yet to complete all requested data due to 'antitrust issues', referring to laws addressing anti-competitive behavior among corporations.

In April 2013, Maglaya said that cement companies had increased their prices due to the higher cost of coal, a raw material that accounted for about 25% of the cement industry's manufacturing costs. Holcim reportedly raised its price by 11%, Lafarge by 7%, Cemex by 15% and Eagle Cement by 5%.

In 2012, the Cement Manufacturers' Association of the Philippines (Cemap) reported record-high sales of 18.4Mt, up by 17.5% from 15.6Mt in 2011. This was due to the boom in public and private construction projects. In the fourth quarter of 2012, 4.4Mt of cement were sold compared to 4Mt in the fourth quarter of 2011.


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