The second increase in the ongoing month pushed the steel bar price to an all-time high of Rs216,000 per tonne thus affecting the construction activities across the country mainly due to the rising cost of all other building materials.

The manufacturers had raised prices by up to Rs8,000 in the second week of the current month.

Amreli Steel Ltd (ASL) has increased the price to Rs216,000 for 9.5/10mm and 12mm sizes while the price of 16mm and above (deform and extreme bars) is fixed at Rs214,000.

The company attributed the price hike to a continuous and unprecedented bullish trend in the cost of scrap over the past month, the falling rupee and the rising cost of energy.

The new price of Agha Steel Electric Arc Furnace rebar has been increased by Rs7,000 per tonne. The rates of 16mm and above and 9.5mm-12.7mm are Rs214,000 and Rs216,000 as compared to Rs207,000 and Rs209,000 per tonne respectively.

Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) chairman Mohsin Sheikhani said the cost of construction has risen by over 70pc in the last year owing to soaring steel bar, cement, labour cost, paint, sanitary fittings, tiles, windows and door fittings, etc. He said the price of sanitary, tiles, doors and window fittings has swelled by 30-35pc in the last year.

The government has stopped holding weekly meetings with construction stakeholders, builders and relevant government ministries for the last three to four weeks owing to rising political temperature and uncertain economic conditions, he said.

He said builders had asked the government to reduce the customs duty on the finished steel products and raw materials used in the making of steel bars to bring down steel prices.

Mr Sheikhani said builders of low-cost projects are highly worried as they had started their construction work at Rs2,500 per sq ft rate a year back which had now risen to over Rs4,000 per sq ft.

Karachi Iron and Steel Merchants Association (KISMA) President Shamoon Baqarali said the demand for steel products has slowed down due to political unrest.

As per the Sensitive Price Index data for the week ending March 24, the cement price had gone up by 41pc compared to the same week last year.

The average price is now Rs862 per 50 kg bag versus Rs610.


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