Costs of building materials in UAE decline amid coronavirus

The costs of manpower and some building materials used in construction projects in the United Arab Emirates have fallen recently amid coronavirus pandemic, Zawya reported on Thursday.

The average cost of construction labour dropped by 20.5 percent, while diesel prices edged down by 8.4 percent in April when compared with March 2020.

Steel prices also declined by 2.7 percent, according to the latest figures released by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

Compared to the same period last year, the average cost of construction labour fell by 28.09 percent, while diesel prices posted a 17.3 percent decline. Power cables also dropped 12.2 percent annually.

Manpower, steel, diesel, and power cables account for some of the biggest input costs for builders. While the decline comes as a relief to the industry impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, other materials have posted price hikes.

The prices of cement went up by 0.9 percent, concrete by 0.1 percent in April compared to a month earlier.

The average prices of natural stone climbed by 6.4 percent year-on-year, while wires for small building and stainless steel sinks with single mixer jumped by 3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

 

Developers and contractors in the UAE have had to deal with sluggish civil works, delayed delivery of materials and limited workforce, while some suppliers grappled with rock-bottom prices due to the pandemic.

According to Bharat Bhatia, CEO of steel manufacturer Conares, the demand for steel dropped by 50 percent in the UAE, causing prices to fall sharply.

“The prices of steel are currently at the bottom, also due to worldwide lockdown,” Bhatia told Zawya earlier.