Prices of mild-steel rod, a key construction material, have spiked again after two months of downward trend, with the prices increasing by nearly Tk2,000 per tonne in the last two days.
Traders say the sudden spike in prices came following the announcement that the government plans to impose controlled tariffs on the import of iron ore products in the next budget.
Sekander Hossain Tinku, chairman of KR Steel, said the market for construction rods had been stagnant for almost two months after the abnormal rise in rod prices due to the raw material crisis.
"Prices dropped by Tk7,000-8,000 at that time. But the announcement triggered the prices upward a little," said Tinku.
"However, due to the abnormal rise in prices, the demand for the product has decreased and there is no fear of additional price rise in the future," he added.
The price of 75 grade (500 TMT) rod has increased by up to Tk2,000 per tonne in the last two days in the steel market. A present 75 grade rod is being sold at prices ranging between Tk83,500 and 87,500 across brands from Tk82,500 - 85,000 two days prior. The Prices of 60 grade MS rod ranges from Tk80,000 to Tk83,000 across brands.
Prices of 60 grade rod, produced in Semi-Auto Mills has also increased by Tk2,000 and was sold at prices between Tk77,000 and Tk78,000 per tonne from Tk75,000 to Tk 76,000 two days ago.
Besides, prices of steel manufacturing raw-materials including billets, plates and scraps have also gone up by Tk2,000-4,000 per tonne. At present, per tonne scrap is being sold at Tk58,000, plate at Tk67,500 and billet at Tk72,000 from respectively Tk56,500, Tk63,500 and Tk71,000 two days prior.
About the recent spike in prices, SM Kamruzzaman, proprietor of Zaman Enterprise, a wholesale rod trader in Asadganj, Chattogram, said the rod market may come to a standstill again.
Sarwar Alam, director of Golden Steel, said the reason for the rise in prices was price hike in the global market and the increase of import cost after the rising price for US dollar.
"The price of rod has almost doubled in the last one and a half years causing the demand for the product to drop by at least 50%. As a result, the price of the product is not likely to become more volatile," he added.