Lafarge says Nigeria cement prices to rise in 2015

Nigerian cement prices are expected to rise next year after a slump in Africa’s biggest economy, according to Lafarge Africa (WAPCO)’s country chief financial officer, reports Bloomberg News.

Prices, which fluctuate depending on movements in the local currency and when capacity comes on board, fell 22% in November, Kristiansson said  Wednesday.

 Lagos-based unit of Lafarge is “very optimistic” prices will probably increase again from mid-2015, he said.

“Prices have been adjusted, so there’ll be an impact for the next six months,” Kristiansson said. “Over the long run, they’ll stay around the current level.”

Paris-based Lafarge, which is merging with Holcim Ltd. to create the world’s biggest cement company, competes in Africa with Dangote Cement,. Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s largest company and producer of the building material, last month cut cement prices.

Lafarge’s cement capacity at its plants in Nigeria and South Africa will rise above 20 million metric tons by 2020 from about 12 million tons currently, Kristiansson said. Lafarge Africa’s shares listed in Lagos have dropped 38 percent this quarter, compared with the 19 percent decline of the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

“Demand is so big in Nigeria that we’re struggling to meet it although we’re investing heavily,” he said.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to export one day, but our first focus is to meet demand in South Africa and Nigeria.”

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