Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Cement shortage worry suppliers

Published:Saturday | April 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/ Staff Reporter
Humphrey Taylor

A shortage of cement on the local market is currently affecting the ability of several suppliers to meet the demand for the product, and there are fears that this could affect the construction industry.

Among those expressing concern is president of the Incorporated Masterbuilders' Association of Jamaica Humphrey Taylor, who says that some of his members have been affected by the recent dip in supply. His association represents about 170 members and includes several companies that sell construction materials such as cement.

"I have heard of it from two days now, and I tried to speak to the [Caribbean] Cement Company yesterday [Thursday]. They were asking me to give them the names of the people who were having shortage and they would see if they could alleviate it," said Taylor. "We are going to see if we can collate all the members who are having problems and write [the cement company] an official letter," he added.

Several owners of hardware companies told The Gleaner that they were having issues purchasing cement.

"Quite a number of our branches are out of cement just now," noted an employee of Hardware and Lumber Rapid True Value chain of stores, while a manager at New Budget Supplies said that he had "very little" in stock. "We have been having a hard time getting supplies," he disclosed.

Short-term glitches

Chief Executive Officer of cement distributors Tank-Weld Group Chris Bicknell does not think the current situation is anything to worry about. "It is really short-term glitches. When a hardware [store] doesn't get a supply, say, for one day, I can understand that they would really get very concerned," he said.

An official from the Caribbean Cement Company told The Gleaner yesterday that management was working on a response.