Iran: Cement Output Up

A03249174.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The Ministry of Industries and Mines said the country produced 19.7 million tons of cement in the first five months of the current Iranian year (started March 20) showing a 21.5-percent growth over the same period in 2007.

During July 22 to Aug. 21, the country produced 4.4 million tons of cement, indicating a 25.4-percent rise when compared to the figure of the corresponding period of last year, MNA reported.

Cement production stood at 97.5 percent of its nominal capacity in the first five months of the current year.

In related news, prices of cement distributed by the state sector have gone up by 30 percent while it has experienced a 30- to 40-percent drop in the open market, Iran Daily reported.

The nationwide scheme to regulate cement distribution channels is the main reason behind the drop in cement prices. The good news is that state subsidies for cement will soon be scrapped and consequently prices will continue to fall due to increased production by private factories.

In the coming weeks and months, new cement factories will be set up in Bushehr, Isfahan, Sabzevar and Delijan to increase supply.

Since the beginning of summer, cement deliveries to housing cooperatives also increased by 15 million tons, which was another factor for the sharp drop in cement prices in recent weeks.

Under a new government scheme, cement will only be supplied through guilds in an attempt to regulate the distribution channel, cut middlemen activities and keep construction material prices in check.

If this trend were to continue and prices keep falling, low-income first-time buyers will also be able to build a house of their own.

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