Buyers bearing the brunt of soaring prices for the past few days may now heave a sigh of relief as prices of many commodities are diluting, especially the cost of steel and cement. After touching its all time highs, the prices these commodities are falling down in markets.
Price of cement bag of 50 kg of a top brand came down to Rs 360 (including 28 per cent GST) on Thursday from its recent peak in retail trade category while the price of similar bag in bulk buy category slipped to Rs 330 per bag (including GST).
Prices of cement bags have touched Rs 390 (including GST) mark in the retail trade category while in bulk buy category it was at Rs 380 per bag (including GST). These prices were the highest levels cement has witnessed in the recent past. It is important to note that the price difference between bulk buy and retail trade category was just Rs 10 per bag in April which is a rare phenomenon.
One of the dealers, who preferred not to be quoted, said the prices of all the top brands are hovering around these levels. “As far as the prices following brands are concerned, they are Rs 15-20 less than this. And some of the manufactures based in Chhattisgarh are supplying cement bags at a price of Rs 270 per bags in bulk buy category,” he said.
Market sources said that the cement prices are falling as the commodity is not in demand. “Because of non availability of labours and extreme climatic conditions, construction activities are going at a snail’s pace which is affecting demand for cement,” he explained.
In addition, shortage of labourers is also affecting the construction work. “During monsoon season, many outstation labourers return back to their respective villages and get engaged in agricultural activities. Due to this, work at the projects get hampered and demand for cement and steel come down,” he added.
Some of the observers said that the prices would maintain these levels while others said that the markets may see further dip in coming days. “During the monsoon, construction at most of the projects come to a standstill and cement and steel prices fall. This may happen in the coming days,” they said.
On the other hand, some dealers said, “it looks like the fall has touched its lowest level of the season. We may not see further price cut. But there are no signs for price hike.”
Another commodity required by the construction industry - steel is also witnessing a significant fall because of various international and domestic factors.