In T&T: TCL: Reduced cement prices coming

9 May 2012


“Increase of almost 20 percent on all types of cement,” said to be only temporary according to TCL.

Trinidad Cement Limited, (TCL) is assuring that added costs to cement will be removed when operations stabilize at the company.

The company which was served with a 90-day strike notice by the representing Oilfields Workers Trade Union, (OWTU) on February 27 last, it had been forced to import cement from its subsidiaries in Jamaica and Barbados, to meet the local demand.

Contractors and hardware owners have been bitterly complaining about the sharp increase in prices, as well as cement shortages.

Last week Wednesday TCL announced a price increase of almost 20 percent on all types of cement. It was the second increase in four months, the first being in January when TCL increased prices by 12 percent, on its Premium Plus and Portland cement.

A statement from the company yesterday indicated the increased costs were due to “temporary surcharges, which included costs due to port charges, freight, insurance, warehousing and security.”

TCL explained the initial surcharge was placed on 42.5kg bagged cement on March 5, adding “the recent 20 percent increase in price, however, applies only to BULK cement, which has been selling at normal factory prices since March 10, 2012, and has arisen due to the need to import clinker for which the landed cost is 33 percent higher than the cost of clinker produced locally at the Claxton Bay plant. TCL said it was absorbing a portion of the increased cost.

In order to satisfy the demands of the local cement market, TCL said it has imported 46,000 metric tons (MT) of bulk and bagged cement, and 16,700 MT of clinker over the last two months. “The landed cost of both cement and clinker has been significantly higher than the regular selling price from the Claxton Bay factory and, in an effort to mitigate the increased cost to the consumer TCL has been absorbing a portion of the increased costs with the rest being passed on as temporary surcharges.

When operations stabilize, the surcharges will be removed, ” the company said.

TCL said as it ramps up towards 100 percent production, there continues to be a reliance on the importation of clinker, but the company stated “it continues to share additional charges related to the considerably higher cost of getting product to market, and is working assiduously toward alleviating any impact on the construction sector.”

On Monday TCL restarted its Number 4 Kiln which is responsible for producing clinker with Production manager, Keith Ramjitsingh calling the development, the overcoming of “a major hurdle.”

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