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Cement Price Goes Up Due To Transport Shortage

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After the Federal Transport Authority issued an “urgent” notice for transporters' associations to report to the Galafi border town to ease the stockpile of goods at the Port of Djibouti, the price of cement has risen by some sixty percent.

According to cement market operators, the price hike was witness this week starting Wednesday. The retail price of Derba Cement, days ago, stood at 250 birr per quintal but rose to 350 by Thursday and was sold at a staggering 400 birr on Friday. Messebo Cement was also sold for 350 birr by the end of the week.

Ahead of the latest hike, the wholesale price of Derba Cement stood at 209 birr leaving a profit margin of 41 birr to the middle men. CEO of Derba Cement, Haile Assegide, told The Reporter that there is no shortage in production and the sole reason behind the hike is because 50 trucks that are operated by Derba have reported to the Port of Djibouti following a notice made by the government.

“We were ordered to focus on Addis Ababa starting March 27 and suspend our distribution to the different regions,” Haile told The Reporter.

Last week, the Federal Transport Authority ordered transporters to transport goods as quickly as possible to ease the burden at the Port of Djibouti.

According to the Authority, the urgency is prompted by the increasing shortage of some basic food items such as cooking oil and wheat in the local market.

Director of the Authority’s Communication Directorate, Abelneh Agidew, last week told The Reporter that the government had to issue such order because of the limited number of transport vehicles and trucks at the port. He further told added that containers at the port are stocked with fertilizer, wheat and oil.