A snap survey by The Herald showed that PPC and Lafarge were out of stock in most retail outlets and building material warehouses in most towns and cities.
The two companies control more than 70 percent of the country’s cement market. When contacted for comment by The Herald, Sino-Zimbabwe Cement Company, which has about 25 percent market share, said its products are on the market and readily available although some retailers told the same publication that they do not have them in stock. Sino-Zimbabwe sales and marketing manager Mr Ibiam Sengwe said he was unaware of the shortages. When contacted for comment Concrete and Cement Institute of Zimbabwe member, Mr Monday Moyo, said cement was usually in high demand in summer. Said Sengwe:
I am not aware that there is shortage of cement in the country. As a company, our distributors are well stocked. If there is a shortage maybe they are referring to other brands. As far as we are concerned, we are moving the product to the market and there is no shortage.
The Standard yesterday published a report that the majority of hardwares and other outlets that normally sell cement were out of stock while prices had been hiked to between $15 and $20 a bag compared to the recommended retail prices averaging $11.50 for PC and $10 for masonry.