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Competition hots up in Caribbean cement market

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World Cement,

Competition between Trinidad Cement (TCL) and Rock Hard Cement is hotting up after Rock Hard recently entered TCL’s home market of Trinidad and Tobago. According to local media reports, Rock Hard is selling its cement for US$46 per bag, undercutting TCL.

In response, TCL has taken out a number of adverts warning against buying imported cement on the basis that is could fail to meet local quality standards. Although not mentioning Rock Hard by name, the adverts urge buyers to “keep it fresh” and “keep it local”.

Based in Barbados, Rock Hard Cement said in January that it was looking to expand into new territories, breaking a “virtual wall” that had been barring it from entering the regional market.

The company also accused “other brands” of creating “false alerts to the public as they seem threatened by competition and are losing credibility” – an apparent dig at TCL’s advertising campaign.

“Other brands seem intent on misleading the public with false information rather than to focus on servicing the public with a good, consistent quality cement,” the company said, adding that it was committed to staying in Trinidad and Tobago.

Last year, Rock Hard Cement’s CEO said the company could use its facility in Trinidad and Tobago to enter other territories in the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America.

TCL was recently taken over by Mexican-based cement giant, CEMEX, which achieved a majority stake in the company, despite reservations by the board of directors. CEMEX also holds a stake in Jamaica-based cement maker, Caribbean Cement Co.

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