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Prices of cement have been soaring in the country
Ghana’s economy which appears to be teetering for months now is now in complete shambles as the managers of the economy seem to have lost complete control.
The depreciation of the cedi has now resulted in rising cost of goods and services affecting every facets of items in the market.
As at last Thursday, some cement manufacturers increased the prices of their final produce — cement to almost GH¢73.
The price of a 50kg bag of cement which sold at GH¢50 in November 2021 has been increased to GH¢73 at some major manufacturing shops.
A price list by GHACEM, a leading manufacturer of cement, whose prices have been increased effective August 30, 2022 showed that a 50-kilogram bag of cement of Super Rapid is now selling at GH¢64.59 whiles its Super Strong brand is selling at GH¢68 per bag, with GHACEM Extra selling at GH¢72.91.
According to myjoyonline reports, the increase has been attributed to the rapid depreciation of the cedi which has resulted in the increase in the cost of operations in the past few months.
“When the factory price (wholesale price) of a 50 kilogram was about ¢59.00, it was based on an exchange rate of around ¢7.60 in June this year,” a manufacturer whose name is withheld is quoted by myjoyonline.com.
However, the prices are slightly different in Accra from prices in other regions.
“Based on the fact that most of the manufacturers have to import some of the raw materials at a dollar rate of more than ¢9, someone has to take care of this sudden increase in cost”, another manufacturer stated.
Meanwhile, members of the Good Brothers Shoe Sellers Association (GBSSA), the biggest shoe hub in Kotokoraba, Cape Coast, are afraid they will soon be out of business if the government fails to do something significant about the high cost of living in the country.
In an interview with online portal GhanaWeb, the traders mentioned that the recent increase in the exchange rate is highly affecting the price of their goods; hence, a big obstacle to the progress of their business.
Mr. Evans Nana Addo, president of the association, revealed how he now has to pay more than twice the price he was paying for the same quantity of goods just a few months ago.
With seven workers under him, he further bemoaned how it is now difficult to pay his workers.
“I’ve been here since 1992 and this’s the job I do. It used to be very lucrative, but for now, the business is collapsing. Look, we’re really struggling! A few months ago, I used to buy a sack of shoes for GHC900, but it’s now GHC1500. The agent tells me that because of the dollar, he now pays almost twice the amount for the same goods. Even the Omo (washing powder) that we buy for Ghc90 is now Ghc370 so things are becoming very difficult. If care is not taken, I’ll either stop selling or fire some of my workers because, whether we make good sales or not, I’ve got to pay them.”
Mr Daniel Amoah, who has three workers, stressed that sales have become slow as compared to some months ago.
He recounted how, on some occasions, people come around wanting to buy shoes but the moment he mentions the price, they go away without buying anything.
“I’ve three workers under me and I pay them daily and weekly. Now the market is not good, people come here and go without buying anything. It is not easy for us, the exchange rate is killing our business. Government must do something for the Cedi to be stable.”
Meanwhile, Nana Kwame Gyan, a worker for one of the masters expressed the difficulties he goes through to sell shoes he sends to the market. Although he is not planning of quitting despite the low patronage, he hopes things will soon become good.
“This is the truck I use to sell (pointing at a nearby truck), I push it all over the market and sometimes I sell less than five pairs of shoes in a day. It’s not easy though, and I won’t stop selling, but we’re praying that soon, the market will be good.”
The shoe hub serves as the depot where people from other parts of Cape Coast and the central region come to buy their goods to go and sell at their respective places.
They sell second-hand and brand-new shoes, and the association has over seventy members.This is the price list of GHACEM cement: