Fresh hike tosses steel above Rs208,000
KARACHI: Manufacturers have again increased the prices of steel bars by up to Rs8,000 to above Rs208,000 per tonne in less than four days.
Meanwhile, cement prices also rose by 5 per cent over the preceding week ending March 3. As per data of Sensitive Price Index (SPI), the average prices went up to Rs787 per 50 kg bag from Rs749. However, the price rose by 29.30pc if compared with March 11, 2021.
For example, Faizan Steel has now issued a new rate of Rs208,500 for 10mm-12mm bars while 16-25mm rate is Rs206,500 which was Rs200,500 and Rs198,500 on March 7. The company attributed the price hike to severe supply chain disruptions and a sharp increase in the cost of inputs and utilities.
The new rate of Aga Steel Industries is Rs207,000 (16mm and above) while 9.5mm-12.7mm steel bar rate is Rs209,000 which was Rs199,000 and Rs201,000 per tonne on March 7. The company said the steel bar prices were being revised due to escalating energy prices and freight rates.
The price of steel bar in November 2020 was Rs110,000-113,000 per tonne. Former chairman Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) Hassan Bakhshi said the construction cost from November 2020 till to date has risen by 60-65pc in high-rise projects taking into account soaring prices of cement, steel bars, aluminum, labour, wood materials, sanitary, tiles and marbles etc.
He said the cost of construction in housing projects, where the steel bar consumption is slightly lower than high-rise projects, has risen by 40-45pc.
Bakhshi urged the government to remove regulatory duty on the import of steel bars in order to bring down the construction cost. “Currently, steel prices in China hover between $750-800 per tonne and the local makers are taking advantage of the regulatory duty protection by coming out with frequent prices increases in absence of any check by the government,” he remarked.
According to the SPI data, wages of painter, mason (Raj), labourer, plumber and electrician have soared by 4.85pc, 7.42pc, 8.31pc, 7.52pc and 7.45pc compared to the wages prevailing in the week ending on March 11, 2021.