Prices of most of the basic building materials in the domestic market declined significantly during last November, especially cement, construction steel and wood, while the prices of a wide variety of other building materials remained relatively stable, Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) said in a report issued on Saturday.
However, a rise was noted in the prices of some other items, including, electrical cables and wires and PVC pipes. The downward trend in the building materials market can be attributed to a steady rise in the domestic supply of locally made as well as imported items, coupled with the relatively lackluster activity experienced lately by the construction market.
SCAD monitors monthly movements in the prices of 194 items of construction materials, categorized into 21 groups of commodities and services that represent the most important materials used in the construction activity, including cement, aggregate (gravel), sand, wood, steel, concrete, cement/concrete blocks, etc.
Prices are collected from over 70 sources, selected by SCAD's Price Indices Section through field visits by a team from the section. The team also reports to the Prices Section the closure or relocation of any outlets, and the list of sources is updated accordingly.
The report reveals a decline in the range of 0.1 per cent to three per cent in the prices of most types of cement during November 2010 compared with the previous month of October. In this regard, the price of Etihad and Emirates sulphate resistant cements retreated by three per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively. The price of standard Portland cement also declined by 2.3 per cent, while white cement edged down 0.1 per cent. Omani Gypsum was an exception to the general decline in the prices of group, growing by 3.4 per cent, while the price of Omani lime stabilised in November 2010 compared to October 2010.
As SCAD's report points out, the price of Construction steel, one of the most important groups of building materials, showed a decline of 1.2 per cent to 13.2 per cent in the prices of most steel items during November 2010 as compared to October 2010. The largest decline was in the price of steel bars 10-32 mm from Qatar, which retreated by 13.2 per cent.
On the other hand, the prices of aggregate and sand were generally stable during the month of November compared with October 2010, reflecting a state of equilibrium between the supply level and the market demand for these materials.
As for wood prices, the report points to a decline ranging between -0.7 per cent and -4.8 per cent in the prices of seven wood items, while the prices of four items advanced at 0.6 per cent to 2.7 per cent. The prices of the remaining four wood items remained stable.
The report details movements in the prices of tiles and marble, showing stable mosaic and marble tiles during the month of November 2010 compared with October 2010. Over the same period, the prices three varieties of ceramic tiles advanced, but those of four items retreated, while and prices of the rest of ceramic tiles items remain unchanged. The prices of Ras Al Khaimah white porcelain tiles (tile size 40 x 40 cm, unit: m2) fell 5.7 per cent, while the prices rose" colored porcelain from Spain (tile size 20 x 25 cm, unit: m2 ) advanced by 13.4 per cent.
SCAD reported stable prices for the whole range of sanitary ware, except for one item, namely, "Globo colour bathroom set from Italy" which rose by 1.6 per cent.
The average prices of false ceilings were generally stable during November 2010 compared with October 2010, except for the price per m2 of "gypsum ceiling smooth (9.5 mm) / UAE" and "gypsum ceiling with imprinted /UAE", which advanced by 8.3 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively.
According to the report, the prices of three items of paints declined by 1.4 per cent - 7.7 per cent in November compared to October 2010, while the prices of two paint items remained stable. However, the price of one paint item (Mamorex Heavy tex/drum) increased by 6.3 per cent.
SCAD's report points out that the prices of other materials and other services used in the construction activity, including the price of diesel, the cost of construction labour construction equipment rents, remained generally stable during November compared with October 2010.
With regard to the prices of building materials that increased during the period under review, SCAD's report shows a 7.2 per cent - 9.7 per cent rise in the average prices of UAE made electrical wires for apartments in November 2010 compared with last October. However the prices of most types of UAE made electrical wires for buildings decreased by 0.6 per cent - 4.2 per cent, while Omani made electrical wires for buildings advanced by 6.2 per cent and 10.6 per cent. A rise of 4.3 per cent was also recorded in the price of the item: "electric wires /4 Core /120 mm" from Oman, used for electrical wiring in towers.
Likewise, the prices of all types of electrical cables advanced by 1.5 per cent - 12.4 per cent in November 2010 compared to October 2010. A similar trend was also reported in regard to the prices of PVC pipes, which increased by 1.6 per cent - 1.8 per cent during the same period.
To sum up the results of SCAD's monthly report on building materials prices, a look at the movements in the average prices of the building materials groups shows that 10 groups remained stable during the month of November compared to October 2010. This trend, along with generally unchanged prices for 6 items, brought about a relative stability in domestic market during the reference period. By contrast, there was a rise in the average prices of 5 groups out of the 21 main groups of commodities and service represent basic materials used in construction activity.