The Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Ghana has indicated that the high cost of cement is a result of the high cost of production, unfair trade practices, low utilisation of cement products, and unfair competition.
The Chamber believes the pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is also a major factor.
Ghana currently imports about 80 percent of raw materials used in the production of cement.
The Chief Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Ghana, Dr George Dawson Amoah, in an interview, said the 26 percent increase in freight charges and unavailability of vessels are some of the reasons for the rise in the price of the building material.
He said: “About 80 percent of raw materials are imported”, adding: “The cost has gone up and because of COVID-19, so many imported activities have been stalled”.
He said due to the “lack of vessels” for importing raw materials, “we have our own vessel that we use called bulk vessels or bulk cargos”.
“These bulk cargoes are even competing with importers of container vessels”, he noted.
“So, we need vessels”, he pointed out, adding: “Then the high cost of freight and if you have raw materials that you have to import about 80 percent and there’s an increase in freight, it will automatically affect the production and basically that is what is happening”.
“And if you look at the trend, it started from mid-2020, where cost of freight and cost of imported raw materials were going up.”