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South Korean producers set to hike cement prices

South Korean producers set to hike cement prices

South Korea’s major cement producers are implementing another hike in wholesale prices amid strengthening in the key ingredient bituminous coal and construction activity, adding woes to concrete mixers and builders. 

According to multiple sources from the cement industry, the country’s top cement producer Ssangyong C&E has decided to raise the price of its top-grade bulk cement to KRW93,000/t (US$77.6/t) from next month. It would be an increase of 18 per cent from current KRW78,800/t. In July last year, the cement producers lifted the public cement price by 5.1 per cent from KRW75,000/t to KRW78,800/t. 

Halla Cement plans to gradually raise cement price by 18 per cent between 25 January and 1 February 2022. Other industry players Hanil Cement, Sampyo Cement, and Sungshin Cement are expected to join the move, reports Pulse News. The price would be raised twice in less than a year after lengthy freeze since 2014.  

The suppliers argue inevitability of the hike as the price of bituminous coal is projected to remain high at US$150 and US$200 this year, said an unnamed cement industry official. The price of bituminous coal, which accounts for 40 per cent of production cost, has been soaring high since last year. 

The rise in cement price is expected to hit ready-mixed concrete manufacturers. Builders are also concerned that the hike will lead to a rise in new apartment prices.

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