There is now a significant drop in the price of cement which went up in Calabar, the Cross River capital earlier this year.
A market survey by NAN revealed that a bag of the commodity, which was sold at N2,200 between January and May 2012, is now sold at between N1,650 and N1,750.
At the Building Materials Section of Watt Market in the city, a cement dealer, Mr Osita Okeke, said a bag costs N1,700, while it goes down to N1, 650 for bulk purchases.
``If someone wants to buy just about one bag and up to to five bags, we sell at N1,700 a bag. But, for anything above five bags, we can sell at N1,650,’’ he said.
Okeke attributed the drop in the price of cement to persistent rainfall which, according to him, had caused the demand for the commodity to reduce.
``The price of cement is down because construction work is always very minimal during the rainy season, and this affects the demand for the product,’’ he said.
The commodity’s new price regime at Watt Market was the same at cement depots at the RCC Junction, Ikot Omini, 8 Miles and Ikot Ansa areas of the metropolis.
A civil engineer, Mr Ezekiel Umoh, also identified low level of activities in the building sector in the city as a factor that contributed to the reduction of price of cement.
``It is normal that at this time of the year, especially when the rains are much, prices of building materials such as cement drop because of fewer activities in the building sector.
``If you go to several construction sites now, many of the workers are not doing anything because of the rains, particularly here in Calabar,’’ Umoh said.
NAN reports that Unicem cement, the brand manufactured by Calabar-based United Cement Company (Unicem) Plc, was however the product mainly available at the dealers’ shops.