By Basma Tharwat and Inaam Al-Adawy
Merchants in the market for construction materials expect steel factories to set prices in August at EGP 4,450 per tonne for consumers to confront decline in sales during Ramadan.
Samir Noaman, Sales Director at Ezz Steel, said that it is difficult to predict prices at the current time. He added that it is possible, however, to fix prices once raw materials’ prices stabilise in international markets. The domestic market still suffers from a continuing stagnation due to strikes and production stoppages in some factories.
Mohamed El-Marakby, President of El-Marakby Steel, expected prices to remain unchanged in August because of the stagnation in the market during Ramadan as workers took holiday leave, which led to decline in demand.
Lack of investments in construction helped rebar prices to remain unchanged during the month, he added, noting that factories would lower prices to reasonable market limits.
Ahmed Elzeiny, Director of the Construction Materials Division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said that the market for construction materials is calm. Work stoppages in construction during Ramadan and long hours of fasting led to a decline in production. He added that the trend will continue for two weeks after Eid El-Fitr, especially because of the increase of the Turkish steel in market, which led domestic companies to lower their prices.
Mohamed Hanafy, Director of the Chamber of Metal Industries in the Federation of Egyptian Industries, noted that since the beginning of this month, international prices for steel have not changed. Prices stabilised at $615 per tonne of steel and $580 per tonne of billet. He also expected prices to remain unchanged next month at EGP 4,450 per tonne for end-consumers.
Hanafy denied that Ramadan and the stagnation in the market for construction materials and steel were the reason behind steel prices remaining unchanged.