|Cement prices up 10%|
The government has approved an average 10% increase in the selling prices of cement, a controlled item, said the Cement and Concrete Association of Malaysia (C&CA) and industry players.
C&CA said the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs had approved the cement price revision backdated to Dec 1, 2006.
“The approval is in line with the Price Controlled Act 1946, which authorises the ministry to administer and review prices of controlled item,” the association said in a statement on Dec 22.
It said cement was a strategic item and fell under the category of controlled items, under the purview of the ministry.
The association did not specify the quantum of the price increase but property players said the increase averaged 10%.
The new revised selling price effective Dec 1 for the northern region (Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak) is RM217 per tonne, while that for the central region (Pahang, Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) is RM219 per tonne.
The new ceiling price for the eastern region (Terengganu and Kelantan) is RM233 per tonne and that for the southern region (Johor) is RM224 per tonne.
For Sabah (West Coast – Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Kudat, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Beaufort, Sipitang and Labuan) the new price is RM309. In the East Coast (Region 1) Sandakan town, Mile 4 and Mile 8 is RM315 per tonne and East Coast Region 2 – Tawau, Kunak, Semporna and Lahad Datu, RM325.
In Sarawak, the ceiling price for cement in Kuching is RM275, Sibu (RM297), Bintulu (RM330), Sarikei/Bintangor RM286, Miri (RM319), Limbang (RM343), Sri Aman (RM308), Kapit (RM352) and Samarahan (RM281).
Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Kuala Lumpur branch chairman Teh Boon Ghee said property developers and construction companies would have to absorb the price increase for their on-going projects.
“For new projects, they would either absorb or pass part of the price increase to buyers due to the highly competitive market,” he said.
Teh said cement cost alone made up 3% of the total construction cost for houses but concrete ready mix (where cement is one of the raw materials) constituted 8% of total cost.
He said the construction cost of infrastructure projects such as bridges and dams, where ready mix concrete and cement pile usage was high, would rise.
However, for residential properties, it would depend whether the developer would absorb the cement price increase or pass it on to buyers, he said.
Share prices of cement manufacturers rose sharply on Dec 22 on news of the revised prices.
Cement Industries of Malaysia Bhd, the top gainer for the day, jumped 10% or 36 sen to RM3.96 with 1.13 million shares done.
YTL Cement Bhd up 26 sen to RMRM3.96 and YTL-ICULs gained 13 sen to RM1.50.
Hume Industries (Malaysia) Bhd closed 22 sen higher to RM3.40, Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd 15 sen to RM1.39 and Tasek Corp Bhd added nine sen to RM3.04
Source:The Edge Daily
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