On 24th February CemNet Newsroom reported that the price of cement in Nampula, northeastern Mozambique, has soared since the start of the year despite the existence of two cement plants in the port of Nacala, 200km to the west.
This shows how local markets can be in Africa where distribution in countries like Mozambique is a challenge. The troubles of Whitehopleman former client Cimentos de Beira are perhaps not helping.
In an update on 6th March Cimentos de Mocambique has denied authorising any increase in the price of its product. In fact the price had remained unaltered since November 2016. Depending on the type, a bag of cement bought at the factory gate costs between MZN350-409, for clients who buy a minimum of 600 bags. Nevertheless, formal and informal retailers in the provincial capital, Nampula city, justify the price rise, citing an alleged shortage of cement and difficulties in acquiring it at the factory gate.
Might that 600 bag minimum be the problem?