Cement agents see sales slackening in Trashigang

Some customers say that the current prices of cement charged by the agents are exorbitant

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and rise in fuel prices disrupting the supply chains, cement agents in Trashigang are seeing sales slackening in the district.

They say this has led to a gap between the agents and the cement suppliers.

Some agents added that the prices of cement have increased while getting cement from the suppliers and some say the prices have increased due to the increased transportation cost because of the increase in fuel prices.

The owner of Morphu Cement Agency at Lungtenzampa in Trashigang, Dorji Tshering said the cement business was doing well until the pandemic occurred, especially in the southern regions.

“During the pandemic, getting cement out here from Dungsam was challenging and sometimes the supply was stopped due to lockdowns happening down there,” he said.

According to Dorji Tshering, a bag of cement is currently sold at Nu 400 in Trashigang. This used to cost Nu 385 before the rise in fuel prices. The transportation cost itself has increased due to the rise in fuel prices. The price has been increased by the supplier.

“Reducing the price will not even recover my transportation cost and the money I have spent while purchasing cement,” he added.

Another cement dealer said while 13MT (Metric Tons) of cement cost around Nu 24,000 now, the same quantity of cement before the rise in fuel prices cost around Nu 18,500.

Further, because of the location of the eastern dzongkhag, he said cement is hardly being sold to the customers, who take one or two bags.

 He added that he hardly gets two or three customers a day wanting to take one or two bags of cement.

Another cement dealer in Rangjung, Jamtsho said he also sees a handful of customers and sometimes no one visits his shop despite his claims that he sells at a lower rate compared to the others.

“I sell a bag of cement for Nu 395. I think this way customers may visit my place. But I don’t see many customers,” he said.

Meanwhile, some of the customers in Trashigang say that the current prices of cement charged by the agents are exorbitant. They say the price of cement at Nu 380 per bag was fair enough and that Nu 400 for a bag is way too high.

A few residents also complained about agents selling poor quality cement to them. 

Sonam Tashi from Trashigang