Price of iron and steel in Nepal

"Price of iron, steel fluctuating in market ‘depending on demand’"

Price of iron has been fluctuating in the domestic market over months.

Top Steel Companies in Nepal; Latest Steel & Iron Price from Companies

The price of iron and steel has, of late, been fluctuating by Rs. 10-15 per kilogram in the market, depending on their market demand, said Rabi Singh, president of the Federation of Contractors' Association Nepal (FCAN).

The market price of a kilogram of iron is now Rs. 65-67 which was Rs. 72 two months ago. In December last year, iron price had increased to Rs. 72 from Rs. 58 per kilo.

"The suppliers increased the price of iron artificially when the construction works resumed in the country. The iron price went up with its increasing demand," he said.

They have hiked the iron price by 30 per cent to Rs. 72 per kilogram from Rs. 58 without any reason, he said.

However, the suppliers claimed that they increased the iron price after its demand increased, as they faced losses by selling at a cheaper price than the cost price due to declined demand.

The price of iron increased noticeably two months ago after the government amended the Procurement Act, thinking that the amendment would lead to an increase in the demand for the construction materials.

However, the demand for iron could not increase as they had expected, prompting the suppliers to cut steel price again.

"Not only this time, every year, have the supplier tended to increase iron price at the end of Poush when the construction works normally begin," he said.

"The suppliers are cheating the people by taking advantage of the facilities provided to them by the government to import iron ore paying only 5 per cent customs. We have to pay 30 per cent tax for importing the finished goods. So, the suppliers are cashing in on the facility," he said.

He said that there was space for the suppliers to hike price of iron in line with the imported ready iron.

Singh asked the government to allow the contractors to import finished goods at 15 per cent tax which would help control the artificial price hike of suppliers.

The current price of iron has been lower than five years ago when the price of iron had reached Rs. 90 per kilogram.

The price of cement had remained the same. Per sack of cement (50 kg) is now available at the range of Rs. 550 to Rs. 650 in the market. A year ago, the customers had to pay Rs. 850 to Rs. 950 for the same amount of cement

An increase in the production of cement following the establishment of many cement factories contributed to the decrease in cement price.

Kiran Sakha, chairman of Sakha Group, said that the price of iron rods had been fluctuating in the domestic market as per the import price of iron billet.

The price of iron rods increased to Rs. 70 per kilo a month ago in the domestic market as the price of iron billet rose to US$ 430 per tonnes from US$ 340,” he said.

The iron and steel suppliers have been compelled to sell their products at a price lower than the purchased price only to give continuity to their businesses, he said.

Saroj Kumar Pradhan, spokesman at the Ministry of Physical infrastructure and Transport, said that they had not received any information on artificial price hike of iron rods in the market.

He, further, said that the contractors had no right to delay the construction work citing that an increase in the price of iron rods.

source: risingnepaldaily, 4 March 2020

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