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Cement to rise by 15pc

CONTRACTORS are set to be hit by massive cement price hikes over the next few months.

Lafarge Cement announced this week that it will slap a 15 per cent pr ice increase on bagged cement from the beginning of next month and enforce a similar hike on bulk cement at the turn of the year.

The move could see UK contractors pay an extra £60 million for cement next year.

The producer supplies more than six million tonnes of cement to sites around the UK each year and blamed the scale of the increases on higher raw material costs, particularly those of fuel and energy.

It claimed that rises were unavoidable. The increases will see a 25 kg bag of cement retail at around £4.30 and the asking price of bulk cement rocket to the £100 per tonne mark.

The staggered introduction of the price rises was due to the different production techniques and markets for the products, Lafarge Cement managing director Jean-Francois Sautin claimed.

He said: 'We have been very careful to give adequate warning about the price rises to the market. There are two separate markets involved and each has its own dynamics, hence the different introduction dates.'

Mr Sautin blamed rising energy prices for coal, gas and electricity, the impact from greenhouse gas emission regulation schemes and the development of new products.