Lower demand leads to lower price of rods and cement

The prices of rod and cement, two key construction materials, have started to fall on the back of falling demand, providing relief to contractors on different government projects.

When the economy was returning to normal after dissipating the pandemic blues, soaring prices for building materials had halted construction.

Many people halted construction, while many others struggled to continue work as prices for rods and cement hit record highs.

Now construction players can breathe a sigh of relief as prices for mild steel (MS) rods have fallen by 6,000-8,000 Tk per tonne, while cement has seen prices fall by 20-40 Tk over the past two weeks.

Top quality rod (Grade 75) now sells for Tk 80,000-86,000 per tonne, down from Tk 87,000-92,000 a month ago.

On Thursday, among 75 grade rods (TMT) of different brands, BSRM was sold at Tk 86,000 per ton, KSRM at Tk 85,500 per ton, AKS and GPS at Tk 85,000 per ton, Golden at Tk 81,500, SASM at 80,500, Baizid at 81,000 Tk and HM Steel at 81,500 Tk.

Sekandar Hossain Tinku, chairman of KR Steel, said that scrap metal prices have increased abnormally in the international market over the past year and a half due to the supply crisis, which has led to an astronomical increase in prices. bars locally. As a result, its sales declined in the domestic market.

Falling demand has led to a gradual drop in prices for uppers and pumps, he added.

People in the industry have also tied the price declines to lower prices for bars and cement-making raw materials.

Prices of raw materials for the manufacture of rods – scrapplate and billet — have also fallen over the past month. At present, scrap per ton is sold at 56,500 Tk from 65,000 Tk, plate at Tk63,000 of Tk71,000 and Billet to Tk71,000 of Tk80,000.

Cement prices also recorded a drop of 20 to 40 Tk per bag. Its prices had jumped to Tk 80 per bag as imports of its raw material clinker were halted during the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Among the various cement brands, Ruby is currently selling at Tk 475 per bag, Royal at Tk 455, Seven Ring and NGS at Tk 445 and S Alam at Tk 435.

Kamal Pasha, Managing Director of Muharram Ship Recycling Industry in Sitakunda, Chattogram, said rod prices have been on an upward trajectory for almost a year and a half, from November 2020 to March this year. Its prices almost doubled over the period.

Falling cane sales have driven down its prices, he added.

Ayub Ali, owner of Baghdad Steel, a rod trader in Chattogram, said rod sales fell 70-80% in the last month after prices rose to Tk 88,000-92,000 per tonne.

Most people have stopped building due to the unusual increase in rod prices. Work on many government projects has also stalled due to non-adjustment of prices, he noted.

Relief for contractors

Meanwhile, contractors engaged in work on various government projects have been relieved as prices for building materials have come down slightly.

They said the pace of work on the project has slowed in recent months due to rising prices for construction materials. Prices have come down a bit; they now want to get back to work at full speed and finish as soon as possible.

Engineer Sohail Rana, Project Manager at Biswas Builders, an organization engaged in implementing waterlogging mitigation projects in Chattogram, said: “Over the past year and a half, material prices construction increased by 20% to 50%. % and our projects were about to close. Due to the price increase, we had to count the losses.”

“We have started to work again in force with prices which have come down a bit,” he also said.

Mezbah Uddin, owner of Mezbah Associates engaged in various road and highway development works, said, “We are now trying to complete the works as the prices of construction materials have come down slightly.

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