In Ghana, the devaluation of the cedi is pushing up clinker prices, forcing retailers to increase the price of cement. According to reports, the price of cement has risen from GH?8.7 to GH?9.2.
Sources claim that the increase had been the highest throughout the 41-year history of Ghacem.
Ghacem head of communications Dr Dorson Amoah indicated that the company is considering a long-term project of purchasing the necessary raw materials locally.
The Commercial Director of GHACEM, Mr Erik Wartemberg, con?firmed the increase in prices of Ghacem cement.
He explained that the price raise was because of the current exchange rate, where the cedi had depreciated against the dollar.
He said Ghacem imported about 70 per cent of its inputs, which compelled the company to increase the price by about 7 per cent.
Mr Wartemberg said the company was reacting to the global financial cri?sis, whose effect the country had started experiencing.
He said in spite of the increase in production in December 2008 and Janu?ary 2009 the company made loses. He denied that the com?pany had enough stock that should last for over six months, noting that there were other additives that contributed to the production process.
The Corporate Strategic Planning Director of Ghacem, Dr George Daw?son, noted that distributors had expressed dissatisfaction with the increase.
He appealed to them to accept the new price because “the increase was inevitable”.
Dealers and users of cement in Tema and Ashaiman had expressed dismay at the increase in price of the commodity without any prior information.
They have as a result threatened to stop doing business with Ghacem and look for other sources of supply where the same product will cost cheaper.
They were of the view that the increase in price had come at a time when Ghacem claimed to have achieved a record increase in produc?tion as at the end of December 2008.
They said the increase was not com?mensurate with the percentage deprecia?tion of the cedi to the dollar.
Meanwhile various projects that have cement as input could be affected if distributors decide to withdraw their services.