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CY to import cement

15/12/2004 08:24
The construction and management of the infrastructure for the import of cement from overseas is currently claimed by two Cyprus companies. The first is a company belonging to Galatariotis family, which is actively involved in the sector through the Cyprus Cement Company (CCC). Cyprus Ports Authority Chairman, Chrisis Prentzas said that the Authority has selected two of the four proposals submitted originally, which will be reviewed in early 2005. The tender will be accepted in March. Mr. Prentzas said that the silo will be settled at Vasiliko and its constructor will have to pay an annual rent of £200,000 to the Ports’ Authority.

CPC Chairman

At the meeting of the House Commerce Committee, Chairman of the Competition Protection Committee, Christodoulos Tsielepos criticized the two cement companies Vasiliko Cements and the Cyprus Cement Company on the cement prices. “This situation is worse than a monopoly. Each one follows the other without reaching an agreement”, he said.

It is noted that the production of the two industries is fully absorbed. Of the total 1.5 million tons of cement per annum, 1 million is produced by Vasiliko and the remaining by CCC. Vasiliko sells cement against £32 per ton and CCC against £33.

Profitability even with £29

According to the CPC Chairman, the two companies were profitable even when they sold cement against £29 per ton. “We can intervene only in the case when prices are 10% higher than they price that they should sell”, Mr. Tsielepos said. StockWatch sources reveal that the CPC has warned the cement companies not to increase their prices. At the same time, according to CYSTAT data cement sales have recorded an increase of 21.2% to 140,246 tons in November compared to the corresponding month of 2003. For January – November, total cement sales increased 18.4% to 1,408,954 compared to the corresponding period of 2003.

Occupied areas

As for the sale of cement in the occupied territories, Commerce Ministry Manager, Mr. Neocleous said that no transaction has been carried out.