LAHORE - The cement prices, after witnessing a drop of almost 10 percent for the last 9 months, have started reverting to previous level in north region, as different companies have increased prices by Rs20 on average. However, the prices in South region remained stable at an average of Rs570/bag.

Industry sources said that hike in coal prices, rupee depreciation o f about 9 percent and strong demand due to heavy construction work in Punjab were the major factors which led to the hike in cement prices to reach Rs540 per 50kg bag- the previous level of June 2017 when the budget of current fiscal year was announced and additional duties were imposed on cement.

In retail market of Lahore, different brands of cement bags are available in the range of Rs25 to Rs40 per 50kg bag against their rates of last week of Rs505 to Rs525, showing a jump of Rs20 per 50kg bag on average during the last couple of weeks.

Presently, there are three popular brands in Lahore market including DG Cement, Bestway Cement and Maple Leaf Cement which are selling in the range of Rs525-540 per 50kg bag as per their demand and popularity, dealers said.

Dealers said that the government had announced to increase FED by 25 percent on cement to Rs1,250/ton in federal budget for 2017-18 for the second consecutive times, affecting the common man who had limited resources for house building. The industry had suggested in its budget proposal that FBR should phase out the FED to encourage cement off take.