KUALA LUMPUR (May 11): The Building Material Cost Index (BCI) without steel bars and with steel bars has increased for all building categories between 0.1 and 3.6 per cent in April 2022 with Peninsular Malaysia between 0.6 and 3.4 per cent, Sabah between 0.1 and 2.4 per cent and Sarawak between 0.8 and 3.6 per cent, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said BCI without steel bars for all regions in Peninsular Malaysia increased between 0.9 and 3.4 per cent for almost all building categories.

"The building category with the highest increase was two- to four-storey reinforced concrete (RC) building (flat roof) in Terengganu and Kelantan.

"The BCI without steel bars in Sabah and Sarawak increased between 0.3 and 3.6 per cent for almost all categories of building," he said in a statement in conjunction with the department's Building and Structural Works April 2022 report released today.

Mohd Uzir said building categories with the highest increase in Sabah and Sarawak were single storey steel frame (tower only) in Kota Kinabalu and timber building in Kuching.

The BCI with steel bars for all regions in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak increased between 0.1 and 3.6 per cent for almost all building categories.

Building categories that recorded the highest increase in Peninsular Malaysia was two- to four-storey RC building (flat roof) and five-storey and above RC building (for office) in Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Terengganu and Kelantan with 3.1 per cent, Kota Kinabalu with 2.4 per cent for single steel frame (tower only) and timber building in Kuching with 3.6 per cent.

Mohd Uzir said the unit price index for steel which consists of mild steel round bars and mycon 60 high tensile deformed bars increased 2.3 per cent compared to 1.4 per cent in the previous month.

“The highest increase in steel was recorded in Sarawak (3.8 per cent), followed by Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang with 2.4 per cent.

“Almost all building materials such as cement, steel, aggregates, sand, bricks and wall, roofing materials and ceiling materials increased in April,” he said.

Mohd Uzir noted that the World Steel Association report stated the world crude steel production for 64 countries was 161.0 million tonnes in March 2022, a 5.8 per cent decrease compared to March 2021.

Global crude steel production was 456.6 million tonnes in the first three months of 2022, a decline of 6.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

Asia and Oceania produced 331.3 million tonnes of crude steel in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 7.8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, according to a World Bank report, most commodity prices are expected to increase in 2022 and remain high in the medium term, particularly for commodities where Russia and Ukraine are key exporters, including energy and some grains.

Commodity prices rose sharply following the start of the war in Ukraine, adding to the broader post-COVID-19 rally.

The increase in energy prices will drive up cost of extracting and refining metal ores, particularly aluminium, iron ore and steel.

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