Consumer Protection Agency accuses iron and steel factories of violating market competition laws

Egypt’s Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) referred all iron and steel factories operating in the local market to the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) over allegedly violating laws by reducing their production capacity without reason.

Head of CPA Atef Yacoub said on Tuesday that his agency received information on the rise in prices of products such as iron and steel, without obvious reasons, as the price of steel climbed in the markets during February between LE12,100 to LE12,300 per ton.

He added that the price of steel in March climbed between LE12,600 to LE12,900 per ton, which he said is an unjustified rise, as there is no change in cost or input elements in the steel industry that may have caused this rise.

He added that the actual production of iron and steel factories is about seven million tons annually, although the maximum production capacity of factories ranges from 11 to 12 million tons per year.

Yacoub continued to say that the deliberate reduction in production may be aiming at increasing the prices, which may cause damage to the Egyptian consumer and national economy, and is a violation of the law on the Protection of Competition and the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices.

CPA said in a press release that it had not received any complaints related to the sector, but that it is constantly following up on the iron, steel, and cement market because of their importance to, and impact on, the Egyptian economy.

Within this framework, he added that the Agency has prepared a preliminary note on the cement and iron sectors which, will be issued within days.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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