Ja cement prices up

Effective yesterday, a bag of cement in Jamaica will cost $370.

This represents an increase of over 12 per cent in the price it costs to purchase a bag of cement. Anthony Haynes, general manager of Caribbean Cement Company Limited, told The Gleaner that the increase was due to rising fuel costs in the world market.

“We have been subjected to the increasingly upward pressure on our price inputs stemming from the rising costs of oil, and this translates into electricity.”

Haynes said also that general inflation has also compounded the costs, and since his company is a high user of diesel and Bunker C oil in its operations, it had no choice but to raise the price. “We have had to make a price adjustment to correct for the increase in costs,” he added.

The increase in the price of cement follows several turbulent months this year during which the construction sector was plunged into crisis after a batch of 500 tonnes of faulty cement was released to the market. The crisis was barely alleviated on June 23 with the importation of 200,000 bags of cement from Cuba.

But Haynes said the production of cement at the Rockfort plant is now meeting targets and the crisis in the sector did not influence the increase in prices.