According to a recent market study analysing the competitive conditions in Argentina's portland cement industry, the CNDC concluded that cement companies exercised market power, generating cost overruns for the construction industry as a whole, both for the private sector and for public works.
The existence of high transportation costs and the availability of information of its competitors -among other variables that characterise the industry- allowed, at least since 2013 and until 2018, the different cement companies to exercise geographically localised market power. This market power translated into a system of price discrimination based on the distance of each of their customers to the nearest competing plant. In other words, the price paid by each customer depended to a large extent on the presence of a nearby competing plant.
For this reason, a recommendation was made to the Asociación de Fabricantes de Cemento Portland (AFCP) regarding the exchange of information related to cement production and dispatch in Argentina. In line with international standards and the CNDC's own guidelines, it was recommended that the request, receipt and distribution of information on cement production and dispatch disaggregated by province should cease.
This recommendation seeks to prevent member companies from being able to coordinate their competitive behaviour.