The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) has started investigating reports from traders accusing CEMEX, Assiut Cement Company of monopolistic practices, said General Hamza al-Bery, head of the domestic trade department at the Social Solidarity Ministry.
The reports say that the cement company sells its products in the Nile Delta and Greater Cairo at LE150 less than they sell for in Upper Egypt, Bery said. He added that prices should actually be LE50 less in Upper Egypt due to different freight and cargo costs.
"CEMEX cement is sold for LE530 – 620 per ton in Sohag, Qena and Minya, while it is sold for LE365 – LE400 in the Delta,” Bery noted.
The cement market is witnessing a war of "lowering prices" between international companies operating in Egypt, said Ahmed al-Zeiny, head of the construction materials division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce. After the Lafarge company sold cement in Upper Egypt to traders at LE385 a ton, CEMEX sold it for LE365 in the Delta and Greater Cairo and LE540 in Assiut, he added.
"Prices in Upper Egypt are still higher compared to [the Delta and Greater Cairo] due to CEMEX control over the market and its refusal to lower prices," Zeiny said.
The company aims to control the cement market in Upper Egypt, which is a blatant violation of the law on competition and prevention of monopolies, he concluded.
Translated from the Arabic Edition