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India’s cement producers threatened with Chinese imports

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World Cement,

Nitin Gadkari, India’s Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, has warned cement producers that he will allow imports from China if they do not bring down prices. Cement manufacturers have already faced criticism from the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India, which complained to the Competition Commission of India about high prices, accusing some manufacturers of cartelisation. They say that cement producers have not passed on cost decreases.

Gadkari had earlier stipulated that new highways will be built using cement made in India, rather than using products derived from imported crude oil. An agreement was established between the government and some manufacturers, whereby a lower price was agreed for cement being used for government infrastructure projects, but the success of this agreement is not known. Meanwhile, open market prices have risen to an average of Rs.340 per bag.

Growth in India’s cement demand is expected, as the government tackles infrastructure and housing projects, but producers have been warned against exploiting this demand to hike prices. Gadkari has reportedly suggested that Chinese imports could be the ‘wake-up call’ that the industry needs.

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