(Business in Cameroon) - ALUCAM has decided to raise its prices, credible sources reveal. According to the sources, the decision is effective today July 12, 2021, and the prices are rising by 8% on average.
The steel products maker explains that its decision was motivated by two main reasons. The first is the increase of alumina prices on international markets. On dedicated platforms, we learn that the price per ton of that ore required to produce aluminum has risen by over 52.5% within 12 months, from US$1,663 on July 17, 2020, to US$2,539 on July 12, 2021.
The company also points to additional transport costs generated due to supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In the short term, its decision to raise prices will boost roofing sheets manufactured by Socatral (a division of ALUCAM) and local firms. Ultimately, this rise will affect retail prices offered by Alubassa, another division of ALUCAM that specializes in the manufacturing of cooking utensils.
Although this price rise will affect retail and wholesale prices, it will help ALUCAM generate more revenues and equilibrate its treasury hit hard in 2015 by the divestment of its strategic partner Rio Tinto Alcan. The cash flow problems are so important that the company has been unable to pay its electricity bills for months.
In April 2021, Cameroon, which became the company’s sole shareholder, had to assume its electricity debts towards ENEO. Despite the assumption of that XAF34 billion debt, ENEO is still claiming unpaid arrears estimated at XAF17.315 billion from ALUCAM.
Brice R. Mbodiam