Egypt's Shura Council suggests mandatory pricing on cement firms
Egypt's Shura Council housing committee (upper house of parliament) suggested imposing mandatory pricing on the country's cement firms on Thursday, following recent cement price hikes made by main cement companies of the market, as the tonne has raised LE200 (about $29) Al Ahramonline reported.
The tonne is currently sold to consumers ranging between LE800 ($118) and LE1200 ($177).
"Egyptian Competition Authority will be tasked with setting the price if the government approves the Shura Council's recommendation," Atef Yacub, the head of Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency, told Ahram online.
He explained that the "unjustified increase in cement prices" is the main reason behind the suggestion of the mandatory pricing. "The rise in energy prices on cement factories doesn't reflect this big lift in prices for consumers," Yacub said.
The Egyptian government said last month the price of fuel oil, which is widely used in energy-intensive local industries such as cement, would be increased by 50 percent, reaching LE1,500 ($220) per tonne.
Companies were not affected by the recent devaluation in the Egyptian pound, Yacub added. "Even the raw material of cement clinker is available in the local market, and there is no need to import it."
Suez, El-Sewedy, and Lafarge are the main cement producers in the Egyptian market, which handle around 48.3 million tonne of cement a year.