Turkish cement manufacturers’ deny huge price hike allegations

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The Turkish Cement Manufacturers’ Association on Jan. 2 responded to criticism from building contractors, saying that the necessary increase in the prices of their products will not reach 40 percent.

“Despite the cost increases, our sector will not boost prices as high as 40 percent, just to stay within the scope of the overall anti-inflation program [of the Turkish government],” said Nihat Özdemir, chair of Limak Holding and president of the Turkish CementManufacturers’ Association.

On the other hand, Özdemir signaled respectively lower price hikes, citing surging costs and exchange rate depreciations during 2018.

“The increase in exchange rates has created a domino effect on energy, raw material and financing costs and the cement sector has been affected,” Özdemir said.

“Electricity costs increased 76 percent in the last two years. The rise in costs of coal was 182 percent, in costs of petroleum coke 170 percent in the same period. In general, the producer price index increased 73 percent between the beginning of 2016 and the end of November 2018,” he added, saying that a “price correction” was on the agenda.

On Dec. 31, 2018, the Construction Contractors Confederation (İMKON) complained about the expected 40 percent price hikes in cement products, calling on the government to intervene.

“If this price hike is put into effect we will apply to the Competition Authority. If we cannot find a solution, we may call on our members to stop works in the construction sector, which has almost come to a halt,” said İMKON chair Tahir Tellioğlu.

On Dec. 28, 2018, the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) made a similar statement.

“We have not construed the meaning of these price hikes as they had already been hiked almost 40 percent in 2018. We had been expecting discounts in accordance with the decrease in the exchange rates,” said Consturction Sector Council chair of MÜSİAD, Reha Yeltekin.

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