• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Cement: Retailers, not manufacturers, responsible for rising prices—Dealer

…as Abuja, Niger, Nasarawa record price drop

The hike in the price of cement in Nigeria, which differs significantly according to brands and location of both buyers and sellers, has been attributed to the activities of retailers who determine the price the end-users pay for the product.

Okechukwu Uche, an Abuja-based dealer, who stated this, offered insights into market dynamics following government’s directive to manufacturers to lower their products’ prices.

Uche told our correspondent that, while there are indications that prices might drop below N8,000, traders remain cautious, observing the market until the end of this week to assess the situation.

“The challenges in price regulation are attributed not to manufacturers but to wholesalers and retailers, who play a pivotal role in setting prices for end-users,” the dealer said.

He explained, however, that disparities in price arise from differing procurement methods, with some sourcing directly from manufacturers and others through dealers. He added that registering with manufacturers, such as Dangote, for regular truckloads of cement incurs significant costs, contributing to pricing discrepancies.

This explains why, according to Uche, despite government pronouncements, prices have remained high because traders largely determine what is paid with some yet to fully comply with directives given to manufacturers to reduce prices.

However, a market survey conducted by our correspondent in Abuja, the federal capital city; Niger and Nasarawa states reveal that there have been slight drop in prices.

In these markets, while traders with older stock maintain prices around N9,500, current prices range between N8,000 and N8,500, indicating a potential for further reduction, albeit not returning to previous levels of N5,000 per bag.

Leading cement brands such as Dangote, Lafarge, and BUA, are all retailing cement bags at nearly similar rates, with each bag weighing 50kg.

It was gathered that, purchasing cement wholesale, equivalent to a trailer-load, presents a more cost-effective option, with all cement brands offering wholesale options.

“In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Niger, and Nasarawa States, prices have witnessed a significant decline compared to previous levels, which exceeded N13,000 per bag before government intervention,” Uche told our correspondent.

According to him, current prices for major cement brands in these states show Dangote selling for between N8,000 to N9,500; Lafarge sells for between N8,000 to N9,300 while BUA goes for between N7,500 and N9,000