PETALING JAYA (July 30, 2012): Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd will raise the price of its cement from Aug 1, after taking into consideration rising costs of manufacturing and delivery of the building material, its executive director Chen Theng Aik said.
"The decision was made unilaterally and taking into consideration our increasing costs associated with manufacture and delivery of cement, which we have endeavoured to absorb over the years," Chen told SunBiz yesterday.
He dismissed claims that cement companies are colluding and creating an artificial shortage.
"Our plants had carried out major shutdowns for scheduled maintenance between February and June this year, which resulted in lower production during the first half of this year. We strongly refute the allegation of creating any artificial shortage of cement," said Chen.
Lafarge Malaysia's announcement follows claims by property developers, building materials distributors and builders last week that cement prices will be increased from Aug 1 by RM1 per bag of 50kg from RM16.75 to RM17.75 or RM20 per metric tonne from RM320 to RM340.
They warned that a price hike would increase construction costs which in turn would lead to higher property prices, as they pass on the additional costs to homebuyers.
However, CMS Cement Sdn Bhd, Sarawak's sole cement producer, had on Saturday said it had no intention of raising the price of the material.
There are six cement players in the country, the others being YTL Cement Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, Cement Industries of Malaysia Bhd (CIMA Group) and Holcim (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.