SCAD index to record building materials prices

A construction site in Dubai. Prices of building materials have fluctuated greatly in recent months. (EB FILE)

The Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi (SCAD), is working to compile an index for prices of building materials for the construction sector, comparable to the consumer price index (CPI), published by it on a monthly basis for public use.

The present report is the first for 2010 and follows a number of similar reports published in 2009. It reflects overall movements in the average prices of the main construction materials in 2009 and thus reviews key indicators of the construction industry in Abu Dhabi. It aims to acquaint data users and the general public with price changes that occurred in 2009 as compared to 2008. It also seeks to ensure that project owners are fully aware of price trends of building materials over the past past two years.

The report tracks price changes in the main categories of construction materials, namely cement, aggregate and sand, wood, steel, concrete and concrete blocks. The report will enable project owners to gain access to market prices and help them make relevant estimates. It can also serve as a source of information for studies dealing with the consequences of the global financial crisis and its obvious impact on the building materials market.

Price comparison

Prices of building materials have fluctuated a great deal recently. Over the past few months for instance, there was a drop in the prices of several items as a result of the economic crisis that swept the world in the fourth quarter of 2008.

There was a decline of 6.6 per cent in the cement group against its level in the year 2008, during which cement price exhibited a 19.8 per cent rise compared to 2007. The cement group had exhibited a strong upward trend, reaching a peak in Q3 2008, but declined subsequently, reflecting the onset of the financial crisis. Cement prices had since been retreating until the last quarter of 2009.

The report shows there was a surge of 6.7 per cent in the average price of aggregate and sand in 2009 compared to 2008. To draw a comparison, the average price grew 43.6 per cent in 2008 versus 2007.

The rise observed in 2009 was driven by the sharp increase in the prices of all types and sizes of aggregate, from Dh34.6 in 2007 to Dh68.8 in 2009, which marks an increase of 98.9 per cent.

This continued upward movement in the price of aggregate and sand in Abu Dhabi, unaffected by the economic crisis, is due to the large-scale road development projects currently under way in the emirate.

The average price of concrete declined by 13.5 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008, following a steep rise of 61.4 per cent in the price of this item in 2008 above its average price for 2007.

Likewise, the price of angled steel dropped 46.7 per cent below the average for 2008, due to the fall in the price per tonne of angled steel from Turkey, Ukraine and Korea by 52.4 per cent, 46.4 per cent and 47.9 per cent respectively.

Beam steel was no exception, its average price having retreated 34.4 per cent, owing to the decline in the price of large beam steel from Japan by 38.8 per cent while Ukrainian and Korean beam steel went down by 37.6 per cent and 26.9 per cent, respectively.

RBC mesh prices plunged 38.6 per cent while binding wire was the item that showed the slightest decrease of 12 per cent within the steel group.

 

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