Rod and cement prices have increased abnormally in the country compared to the world market. Within a month and a half, the price of each tonne of rod has increased from Tk 5000 to Tk 9000. The price of cement has increased by more than 50 rupees per bag. Manufacturers are blaming the increase in the cost of the two main components of the construction work, the increase in the dollar, shipping charges, the price of raw materials in the global market, transportation and production costs. Because of this, the businessmen of the housing sector are in the most trouble. The government’s development work is also hampered due to the increase in project costs.
According to rod manufacturers, there are three types of MS rods available in the market. The best quality is the 75 grade rod made by the auto factories. That’s more sales. Also there are 60 grade and normal or 40 grade rods made in semi-auto factories.
Talking to rod-cement traders in Kazipara, Tejturi Bazar, Nayabazar and other areas of the capital, it is known that a month and a half ago, the price of BSRM brand rod (75 grade) was 85 to 86 thousand taka per ton at the retail level. It increased by 7 thousand taka in a few steps and reached 91 to 92 thousand taka. But a few days ago it was reduced by 1000 taka and now it is selling at 90 to 91 thousand taka. Rods of KSRM and Bayezid Steel brands were sold at 80 to 82 thousand taka one and a half to two months ago. Now selling for 89 to 90 thousand taka. Similarly, Rani and Bandar steel brand rods are being sold at Tk 83 thousand with an increase of 4 to 5 thousand per tonne. Apart from this, rods of different brands of relatively low quality are being sold at 82 to 83 thousand taka per ton. Government marketing agency Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data says that the price of rods has increased by about 5 percent in the last one month. But the rate of price increase is higher as per year. Prices have increased by about 22 percent in a year.
Apart from rods, the price of various brands of cement at the retail level has increased by Rs. 50 per bag. Shah cement is being sold at Tk 550 to Tk 570, Metrocem and Akiz Tk 540 to Tk 550, Scan Tk 570 to Tk 580, Fresh Tk 530 to Tk 540 and Supercrete cement at Tk 550 to Tk 560 per bag. A month and a half ago, these cements were sold between Tk 490 and Tk 530, said the businessmen of this sector.
An intelligence agency’s report prepared recently on the prices of rods and cement also showed an unusual picture of rising prices in the country’s market compared to the global market. According to the report, the price of rods has increased by less than 1 percent in the last month. However, the country’s market has increased by 3 percent. On the other hand, the price of cement increased by a little more than 2 percent, but it increased by 13 percent in the Bangladesh market. According to the report sent to the highest level of the government, there is an annual demand of 8 million tons of rods and 336 million tons of cement in the country. Most of these are produced in the country. A few special rods and cement are imported.
Salesman of SS Corporation of Kazipara area. Mamun told Samakal that about two months ago, BSRM rod rose to Tk 92,000 to Tk 93,000. Sometimes it decreased a bit. However, it has increased for a month and is now being sold at 91 thousand taka.
Noor Uddin Ahmed, the owner of Messrs. Goodness Supply Company of Tejturi Bazar, said that the price of cement has increased by Tk 100 to Tk 130 per bag in one and a half months. Sales of rods and cement fell due to higher prices.
Rod prices in the country have risen slightly due to the Ukraine-Russia war and rising dollar, producers said. Mohammad Zahirul Islam, managing director of PHP Group, said that due to the war, the price of raw material scrap for making rods along with other products has increased in the world market. On the other hand, the value of the rupee against the dollar has fallen a lot. Two months ago, scrap was booked at $750 per tonne. At that time, the dollar rate was 85 to 86 taka. Due to the increase in prices, one has to pay more than 20 rupees per dollar. Import and production – all together the cost per ton of rod falls close to Tk 1 lakh. As such, the traders are not selling the rod at a profit but at a loss. But now the prices have started to decrease in the world market. Of course, the price will also decrease in the country. He thinks that the rod market may go down in the next two-one months.
Cement producers said that clinker, gypsum, slag, limestone and fly ash are used as raw materials for making cement. The increase in the price of raw materials in the international market has affected the country. Amirul Haque, managing director of Premier Cement said, raw material, dollar price, ship rent, production cost have all increased. Why not increase the price of cement?
If the price of rod-cement increases, the expansion of the housing sector is the most hindered, said the entrepreneurs of this sector. Kamal Mahmud, first vice president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), said that the rod-cement traders increase the prices every year when the house-building season comes, showing some unreasonable reasons. Due to this, developers cannot complete a two-year project even in five years. Besides, all kinds of developmental works of the government including schools and colleges also stopped. The cost of the project increases. The government should verify the international market price of imported goods. At the same time, to monitor the reasons for the increase in the price of products produced in the country. Large syndicates have been manipulating the construction materials market for a long time. As long as the government does not intervene in selling rod-cement at a reasonable rate, they will continue this violence.