Caribbean cement prices down as demand falls

Byswb

Updated Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:00:00 GMT

Caribbean Cement Company Limited is offering a big price break to its customers as it suffers from a fall in local sales.

Effective yesterday, the company adjusted price for the ex-factory price of its 42.5 kg bag of cement to be reduced 7.5 percent to stimulate the construction sector.

"Carib Cement felt that this was a good time to encourage more concrete use and to assist the rebuilding and upgrades after the tropical depression Nicole," a statement from the company said, referring to the damage caused by the weather system late last week.

"The Company is hoping that the end user will benefit from this initiative and that the construction sector will receive a much needed boost."

Carib Cement noted that the demand for cement over the past few years has been decreasing. Specifically, it said, the demand for 2010 to date is approximately 18 percent less than the same period last year. It said that demand has been reduced by an estimated 36 percent since the recession began.

The company said this fall in local sales has come just after the company invested US$177 million in the modernization and upgrade of its plant and equipment.

"This capacity upgrade, albeit necessary, has put exceptional pressure on the company's ability to meet its financial commitments and the current local sales volumes achieved by the company are just not sufficient to cover its operational expenses," it said.

Carib Cement said that through an aggressive export thrust, it has exported 30 percent of its production this year, but the revenue generated from export markets are not enough to compensate for the loss in domestic revenues.