Mon, 10 Oct 1994

Cement prices drop to lowest in three months

JAKARTA (JP): Cement prices in the Jakarta greater area have dropped by more than 50 percent, thanks to larger supplies and shorter delivery periods from distributors to consumers since the beginning of this month.

Prices peaked at Rp 12,000 per 40-kilogram bag last month, after reaching their highest level in the last three years. By the weekend, they had dropped markedly to between Rp 7,100 and Rp 8,500 per sack at building material stores in Jakarta, Depok and Tangerang.

Prices are still generally higher than the recommended price of Rp 7,100 per sack unilaterally set by the producers last week. The producers set distributors's prices at Rp 7,500.

The ceiling price set by the government for cement for Greater Jakarta up to now has not been officially updated. It remains at Rp 5,930 per 40-kilogram sack.

Despite the decrease in prices and better flow of supply from distributors, the market the demand for cement is still higher than the supply, retailers say.

Mrs. Alwi, owner of Imran Baru, a building materials store in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, acknowledged a better flow of supply from distributors even though conditions have not fully returned to normal with restrictions on the amount the retailer can purchase.

"I used to receive 600 sacks a day. Now I receive that amount in a week," Mrs. Alwi said, adding that Imran Baru currently sells high quality cement at Rp 8,000 per 40-kilogram sack.

Other cement retailers, including C.V. Idrus on Jl. Karet Subur, Central Jakarta; P.D. Labuhan Emas on Jl. Rempoa Raya; Toko Pinang Jaya on Jl. Ciputat Raya; Toko Anda Mulia on Jl. Dr. Sahardjo; Toko Cahaya Baru on Jl. Raya Pasar Minggu, all in South Jakarta, and Toko Kencana in Depok, as well as Toko Buana Indah in Tangerang, are selling cement for between Rp 8,000 and Rp 9,000 per sack.

Retailers said the price of the main component of construction has dropped since early this month in line with a larger supply and shorter delivery time from distributors.


Andi Tamin, owner of the Pinang Jaya building materials store on Jl. Ciputat Raya, South Jakarta, said he bought high quality cement, such as Tiga Roda cement, at Rp 7,100 per 40-kilogram from the distributor and sold it to consumers at Rp 8,000.

Andi said he had to close his store for three days two weeks ago because he did not have any cement.

Nina, the owner of Kencana building materials store on Jl. Raya Sawangan, Depok, a suburb south of Jakarta, said she sold Tiga Roda cement at Rp 8,500 per sack and low-quality cement at Rp 8,000 per sack.

Gunawan, the owner of Buana Indah store in Karawaci, Tangerang, a suburb west of Jakarta, said he still sold cement at Rp 9,000 per sack.

"I have a lot of supply," he said.

Retailers also expressed relief over the shorter period of delivery.

"Now we can get Tiga Roda cement within five days after we put in orders to distributors. For inferior quality cement, such as Rumah Brand cement, we can purchase in three days," Nina said, adding that in the past she received cement every 15 days from the distributor.

Andi and Gunawan also said they can now get cement in larger quantities and shorter periods.

"Now the delivery is improving. I ordered 200 sacks last week and today my distributor delivered them," said the owner of C.V. Idrus on Friday. "Recently I could not get even a delivery within one week."

H. Hasbullah of P.D. Labuan Emas, however, said he placed an order two weeks ago and still has no cement from the distributor.

Hasbullah said he usually sells 1,400 sacks of cement every week.

It is not known if this favorable trend will last long as construction companies gear up for the end of the year, when prices of building materials tend to increase. (09/mas/yns/bsr/has)