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Cement channel check - A series of increases
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The Cement demand growth in most regions has been better in April than in March. Another round of price hikes of 20-25 Rs/Kg was seen in all regions in first week of April. Even though elections are approaching and infra activities hit a roadblock, cement volume growth averaged a very encouraging ~13% y/y in FY19. The momentum should continue going forward and may accelerate if there is late arrival of monsoon in June.
 
North & Central India
 
Prices all over the north have gone up by 20-25 Rs/Kg a bag on account of volume discipline. Good demand from highway and metro-rail projects continued throughout March and till mid-April. Trade prices in the North averaged Rs 315-320 a bag. Dealers expect the good demand to continue and prices to be constant at higher levels. In Central India, a price hike of Rs15-20 a bag in April has been seen in the region along with decent demand primarily from private housing projects. The region is expected to see stable prices in coming months as there are no major capacity additions there. 
 
South India
 
Demand continues to be very buoyant on the back of strong government-led infrastructure projects, mainly irrigation and low-cost housing. This has helped in a third round of strong price increases of Rs 20-25 a bag despite the rollback of Rs 20 a bag last month, with the trade prices averaging Rs 360-365 a bag. Dealers are expecting that some of the price rise might hold. The players in this region have seen maximum volume growth and price increases in the past quarter.
 
West & East India
 
Prices in the markets of the West region have been hiked by Rs 20-25 a bag (From current Rs 335-340/bag). The recent demand is chiefly driven by infrastructure demand. In the region, prices are expected to hold at such levels.  Demand in east region is picking up this month from the previous month, though coming mostly from private housing and infrastructure. This has helped to an expected price increase of Rs 15-20 a bag on account of volume discipline among manufacturers. Prices are anticipated to be stable amid some pick-up in construction. 
 

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