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Building material price increase manageable

KUALA LUMPUR: The rising cost of building and construction materials in Asia is still at a manageable level, said the Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM).

Its president, Datuk Ng Kee Leen said on Tuesday, May 25 that he does not expect prices to rise to those in year 2008/2009 levels but will increase gradually in line with international market prices, depending on supply and demand.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of MBAM Annual Safety Conference 2010. Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan officiated the event.

“We are working with the government to stabilize prices,” he added. As of May 1, The price of bagged cement rose 10% to between RM15.50 and  RM16.50. Each bag weighs 50kg.

Steel millers and cement manufacturers in Malaysia are said to be facing higher production costs as world oil price has been on the rise.

Imported steel billet prices have increased by US$90 per tonne to US$640 per tonne for Southeast Asian destinations since mid-March this year.

MBAM and the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) had said they would be mass importing steel from neighboring countries as local steels prices are now expensive. Local steel mills had raised steel bar price by 10 % to RM2,200 in February.
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