Cement price hike result of "manufacturers' losses": Official | Business | Ammon News

Cement price hike result of "manufacturers' losses": Official

[7/24/2018 4:56:28 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Non-stop operational losses are to blame for a major hike in cement prices in the local market, which shot up by almost 95 percent to JOD85 per ton from an average of JOD35, according to Secretary-General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yousef al-Shamali.

The price hike was a result of the "ongoing losses" of the five main manufacturers, which according to Al-Shamali, invest hundreds of millions of dinars in this industry and employ more than 1,000 people.

He pointed out that the bearish economic climate inflicted heavy financial losses on manufacturers, including two public shareholding companies, warning that "if the situation continues as it is, some factories, which employ about 1,000 workers will have to shut down". He noted that the financial losses of one of the producers amounted to about JOD9 million dinars as a result of falling prices and selling at a loss.

Speaking to Petra, Al-Shamali added that local cement manufacturers have a production capacity of 8 million tons annually, while local consumption stands at about 4 million tons, but after the closure of border crossings due to instability in some neighboring countries, prices began to fall averaging JOD35 over the past four months of the current year.

He vowed that the ministry will not allow cement manufacturers to agree on a unified price per ton and in the event that happens, strict measures will be taken against violators.

Meanwhile, President of the Consumer Protection Society, Mohammad Obeidat, described the recent hike in cement prices as "unjustified" and demanded the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply to intervene and set price ceilings.

Obeidat said that cement prices arrived at record levels, indicating that there is "oligopoly" in the market, which materialized in a "implicit" agreement on the price hike.

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