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Steel prices jumped 17 per cent in the last one month as millers hiked the rates in the wake of spiralling scrap prices in the international market, which will make the implementation of public construction projects and home building costlier.

The retail price of 60-grade MS (mild-steel) rod rose to Tk 64,000 per tonne, up from Tk 54,000 a month ago and Tk 61,500 during the corresponding period last year, data from state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh showed.

The price of steel scrap increased by $100 per tonne in international markets recently, said Manwar Hossain, president of the Bangladesh Steel Mill Owners Association.

“But suppliers can’t deliver the steel scrap adequately due to the supply chain disruption. There is a shortage of scrap in the global market,” he said. Hossain called the latest increase in the price of the rod as price correction.

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MS rod price was Tk 60,000 per tonne on average before the pandemic. It declined to Tk 50,000 per tonne in the June-November period, when millers sold finished products for cash to stay afloat, Hossain said.

According to him, the price of rod would increase further in the coming days because of the rise in the price of steel scrap.

Mir Nasir Hossain, a former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the hike in the price of MS rod would put a negative impact on the infrastructure and construction sectors as steel is a key component.

“The implementation of the annual development programme will be affected significantly. Local construction companies will fall in trouble as procurement entities don’t adjust prices for the projects with tenure less than 18 months,” he said.

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