Already down by Rs 10-15 per 50 kg bag across the country, barring Mumbai, since the month's beginning, cement prices may come down further next month due to poor offtake in the seasonal lean period during monsoon.
The price of cement in Mumbai, however, has been slashed by Rs 7-8 per bag with effect from today, an official of the Mumbai-based Cement Stockists and Dealers' Association said.
The official said that with the price cut, the average price of cement currently stands at over Rs 260 per bag in the country and hardly any chances are there for the price to move up next month as demand would further wane during monsoon.
"There is a slackening in demand for cement across the country which has reflected in the price cut. Now, with the onset of monsoon, another round of price cut is likely next month," he said.
However, when contacted, Shree Cement managing director HM Bangur declined to comment on the price cut, saying," I will not comment".
The downward revision in cement price is not unusual in the monsoon days as the construction work and infrastructure development come nearly to a standstill.
However, slackening of demand for cement was there in May as well because of poor growth of infrastructure and real estate sectors due to high cost of finance.
The cost of finance is on the rise as the apex bank hiked the key policy rates 10 times since March last year to rein in runaway inflation. The RBI move, however, has impacted both the cement makers as well as its end-users.
The price cut effected by the cement makers, however, is unlikely to impact the commonmen much as housing rates have already moved up, as moved up the mortgage rates.
The government today said it has granted Maharatna status to Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and Gas Authority of India Ltd.