Ghacem, the major distributor in the country, announced an increase in prices officially at the end of the month. Citing the depreciating currency, the company said it would be selling the 50kg bag at an ex-factory price of GHC 15.295, up from GHC 13.34.The Ghacem Super Rapid Bulk, which was sold at an ex-factory price of GH¢252 per tonne, is now going for GH¢289.800, while the 50-kilogramme Ghacem Extra which used to sell at GH¢14.200 is now GH¢16.330. The Ghacem Extra Bulk, which used to be sold at GH¢270, is now being sold at GH¢310.

An executive member of the Cement Distributors Association told newsmen that distributors, had agreed to sell a bag of cement to retailers at GH¢16 and the retailers would in turn sell to individuals and estate developers at between GH¢17 and GH¢18.

The announcement itself came in the wake of perceived shortages in the market due to the other major producer – Diamond Cement which has 35% market share – shutting down production. Retailers responded by upping their prices.

Industry players including the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association and the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana have expressed worry about the effects of the price increases on the sector.

Chairman of the Technical Committee of the ABCECG, Rockson Dogbegah said “I think it should be a wake-up call for government and stakeholders to see the need of breaking the monopoly if we really want to deal with this issue properly. Otherwise the construction industry is going to be collapsing very soon because there is no way a contractor can remain in business when there is this arbitrary increase in prices.”