Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration has announced today that it has issued a new cement price regulation to curb the rising price of cement products in the country.
The ministry said it has made the decision after it asked cement factories in Ethiopia to make price adjustments to tackle the increasing cost of cement products. However, the prices forwarded by cement factories was too high, promoting the ministry to establish a task force to study production process and come up with price suggestions.
Accordingly, the Ministry has regulated the factory selling prices for a quintal of cement to be 510 Birr minimum, and 683.44 Birr maximum.
Gebremeskel Chala, the Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, said that due to the lack of cement production, priority is being given to government projects.
Ways were facilitated to other large projects to procure the products directly from factories by obtaining confirmation from the relevant government institutions. Private consumers will get cement products through government development organizations and organized cooperation, according to the Minister.
The Minister cautioned that cement transactions carried out in various places with cement other than those approved by city administrations and regional states are considered illegal and legal actions will be taken from the date of notification by the institution.
The sale in different cities will be regulated considering the cost of transportation, loading and unloading as well as warehouse rents.
It is a far cry from July 2021, when the Ministry of Trade and Industry (as was known back then) had announced that the cement market in Ethiopia would be decided based on free market prices for an indefinite period of time. The Ministry said the main reason for the decision was the rainy season, which sees reduced construction activities and the demand for cement products. Furthermore, the Ministry said the government had completed preparations to import cement to reduce the shortage in the local production and agreed with local producers to help them increase productions.
However, the rising cement prices showed no let up since then, forcing the Ministry of Industry to direct cement factories to exclude agents from the market network and sell the product directly. In a letter dispatched to 10 cement factories, the Ministry also asked the factories to indicate in a letter the names and number of agents they had excluded. AS