A worker use a forklift to move cement on Trinidad Cement Limited compound in Claxton Bay, yesterday.

As cement prices soar over $100 per sack at hardware stores, Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) says it will maintain its prices at this time. However, the company says that if there are increases in production costs in the future, it will need to revisit its prices.

In a media release yesterday, TCL says the company suffered significant losses due to the impact of the Government’s COVID-19 Regulations to safeguard the nation. However, it acknowledged other sectors, including construction, suffering the same difficulties. On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley chided hardware dealers engaged in price gouging on cement as he was not aware of any shortage to warrant such an increase.

TCL said it has not sold cement to the local market since May 8, except for directly supplying three essential construction projects at the government’s request. TCL said it awaits the Government’s approval to resume sales once it is safe to do so. TCL’s silos and warehouses are currently fully stocked and ready to supply at that time.

While some costs increased due to the pandemic, TCL said it is more resilient to international volatility. It is as the company uses local raw materials and labour to produce approximately 95 per cent of its cement, which it claims its strength as a local manufacturer.

“That price stability has not happened in other imported construction materials such as steel or lumber, among others. However, in the future, in the event of an increase in the cost of contributing factors of production, the company will need to revisit its prices. It is especially in times like these that we must all support each other and help to rebuild a stronger economy as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The company further stated that it was aware of its responsibility as the local producer of cement and would always act in the best interest of the country.

“By supporting construction through stable pricing, we are also helping to push other sectors forward. The construction industry plays a key role in the local economy and CEMEX/TCL continues to be an integral contributor to that sector.”