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Mozambique’s largest cement company, Cimentos de Mocambique (CM), on Monday raised its prices by between five and 10 per cent, reports the independent television station, STV.
The lowest percentage rise was in the company’s two plants in the southern city of Matola where the price of a 50 kilo sack of cement rose from 347 to 364 meticais (from 4.6 to 4.8 US dollars), an increase of just under five per cent.
In the two factories in the northern port of Nacala, the price of a sack rises from 390 to 429 meticais (10 per cent). There is also a 10 per cent rise at the cement plant in the central town of Dondo. A 50 kilo sack that cost 289 meticais last week now costs 318 meticais.
CM justifies its latest price rise on the grounds that some of its raw materials, such as clinker, are imported, and their price has risen because of the depreciation of the metical. The company management alleges that the repeated price rises this year still do not compensate for the rise in the costs of producing cement. CM claims that, between September 2015 and September 2016, the costs of production rose by 50 per cent, but the price of cement only increased by 32 per cent.
Most consumers buy their cement, not from the CM factory door, but from retailers whose prices are much higher.
The retail prices were rising well before the latest CM price rise. In one of the Maputo retailers visited by STV, a sack of cement cost 375 meticais at the end of September. Last weekend – before the latest CM price rise – the same sack cost 400 meticais.
The retailers who spoke to STV complained that with the repeated price rises they are losing clients. One retailer, Amad Abdul, lamented “With this increase, I don’t know if we’re going to have any clients at all, particularly in the festive season”.Source: AIM