Cement traders lower prices to offset poor sales

Cement sales have declined sharply due to slower building and construction activity throughout Egypt.

The drop in demand has prompted several traders to cut their prices to beat the recession. Ahmed el-Zeiny, head of the building material sector at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, said cement is being sold at prices on average LE30 lower than advertized since stocks of cement are piling up in warehouses.

The lowest price of one ton of gray cement is currently LE470 and the highest price is LE550, el-Zeiny told Al-Masry Al-Youm. El-Zeiny said traders have suffered huge losses, and sales have dropped by more than 30 percent.

He added that there is current disruption in the market since traders are lowering their prices in order to get rid of their stocks and distribute their quotas from factories.

According to el-Zeiny, traders are choosing to sell at a loss rather than have their factory quotas withheld. Despite the drop in demand, cement factories have refused to cut prices and are instead forcing traders to receive their monthly quotas or risk having their permits revoked.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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