05.03.2005 Business & Finance

Do not inflate cement price, GHACEM warns retailers

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Accra, March 5, GNA - Ghana Cement Company (GHACEM) has warned retailers not to inflate the price of the product, as there is currently no justification for an increase.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency Business Desk, Ms Abena Konadu Agyeman, Communications Manager of GHACEM said cement within the Accra-Tema Metropolis should sell at 53,000 cedis. She gave the ex-factory price as 47,657.54 cedis.

She said GHACEM recently experienced some distribution hiccups, which resulted in the shortage of the product, saying, "this might have contributed to retailers concluding that there was going to be some increase in price. I however, wish to state that there has not been any increase and no one should inflate the price of cement on the market. She indicated that it was important that those outside Accra-Tema do not over price the product, "except their transportation and a little profit."

Ms Agyeman said GHACEM last increased its prices in January this year and has since not introduced any increases. "I do not think we should be experiencing any price hikes from retailers either."

She said it as absolutely wrong for anyone to retail GHACEM cement at 60,000 cedis, noting that this would place cement out of the reach of a lot of Ghanaians who need it.

President John Agyekum Kufuor last week queried the price of cement, saying it was getting out of the reach of Ghanaians.

Cement prices have regularly been reviewed upwards over the last three years in view of increasing utilities, including electricity, clinker and other cement based products required for production.

Random interviews with retailers in Accra and Tema the bedrock of real estate development in the country revealed that cement was selling for between 55,000 cedis and 62,000 cedis in outlying areas of the two areas.

The retailers complained about acute shortage of the product, while others claimed the price had shot up because they had to buy it from others who had bought it from GHACEM.

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