Market News

Construction materials cost falls on restrictions easing

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A construction site in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Prices of construction materials have dropped by five to 10 percent following the easing of the coronavirus restrictions that disrupted supplies from China.
  • In April, the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) blamed the shortage on Kenya's over-reliance on Chinese building and construction materials such as electrical equipment as well as steel.
  • Some of the products whose price went up include gypsum board, fiberglass panels, acoustical ceiling tile, metal studs and paint.

Prices of construction materials have dropped by five to 10 percent following the easing of the coronavirus restrictions that disrupted supplies from China.

In April, the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) blamed the shortage on Kenya's over-reliance on Chinese building and construction materials such as electrical equipment as well as steel.

Some of the products whose price went up include gypsum board, fiberglass panels, acoustical ceiling tile, metal studs and paint.

AAK chief executive Jacob Mwangi attributed the drop to easing of maritime and transport channels that have stabilised supply chains.

“We are now experiencing a gradual recovery with return to the situation before the pandemic,” Mr Mwangi said.

To shield the sector, Ms Njendu urged the government to strengthen local manufacturing to bridge the supply gap.

"The government and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers should work to maintain price control as possible," she added.

Mr Mwangi is, however optimistic that the prices will remain subdued amid the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccinations.

“While the global cases are now rising, especially in the western hemisphere, we are likely to see continued lockdown measures.

“We, however expect the negative impacts on supply chains to be reduced with the roll out of mass vaccination measures, both locally and globally,” he added.

This comes as the industry for the last two-years has been grappling with hitches in issuance of permits that has affected many property developers.

However, the systems are now operational in counties such as Kiambu, Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Kajiado.