The price of mild steel rod is soaring in the market, pushing up construction expenses.
A rod businessman in Dhaka said the price of 40-grade rod per tonne has increased the most. In one month, its price has increased by 9,000 per tonne. Each tonne of the 40-grade rod is selling at Tk60,000-61,000, which was Tk51,000-55,000 a month ago.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of 40-grade rod has increased by 14.15 percent in one month.
On the other hand, 60-grade rod price has increased by Tk3,000 per tonne. A tonne of the 60-grade rod is selling at Tk62,500, which was selling at Tk59,500 only ten days ago. The price has increased by 3 percent in one month, according to TCB.
Ariful Islam, a rod-cement businessman at the city's Noyabazar, told The Business Standard, "It has been 15 days since the price increased. We are selling it at this rate as we had to buy the rod at a higher price."
He added that sales were not good, which would get even worse following the price hike.
However, factory owners have different opinions regarding the matter. They claimed rod prices have not yet increased, but will go up soon. Though it is construction season, the demand of rod has not increased. When there will be more demand the price will go up.
SK Masudul Alam, managing director of Shahriar Steel Mills Ltd, said, "The companies are buying raw materials at a higher price and providing extra tax to the government. On the other hand, they are paying advanced tax for importing raw materials. Rod price will increase as a result of all these extra spending."
Businessmen involved in construction said business has dropped in general and the drive against casinos has also had significant impact.
Engineer Shafuqul Islam Haque Talukder, vice president of Bangladesh Association of Construction Industries, said, "Construction has dropped in the private sector. If rod prices increase, business costs will increase even more, further decreasing construction activities."