Qatar launches building-material price index
Pricing, availability monitored on a monthly basis so 2022 unaffected
Qatar has launched an index that will monitor the pricing and availability of basic construction materials on a monthly basis, and to issue an alert in the event of any shortages, in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, reports The Peninsula.
Cement, steel, coarse and fine sand, limestone, bitumen and crushed stone (construction aggregates used in road construction) have been included in the index.
A committee has been set up at the Ministry of Business and Trade in terms of a decision taken by the State Cabinet last year to prepare the index and launch and monitor it on a monthly basis.
The index will be made available to smartphone users in the near future, committee officials told reporters.
Bitumen and aggregates are imported at the moment: the latter from Ras Al Khaimah and Oman, of which the price has surged 3% and 25% respectively in recent months.
Coarse sand, with transport costs, is priced at QR890 a tonne, while the price of fine sand is QR500 a tonne, including freight charges.
Steel of eight millimetre thickness is available for QR2,990 a tonne, whereas 50kg cement bags are QR13 each in the local market.
Bitumen’s rate is QR37 per 16kg. Limestone, on the other hand, is the cheapest of all building materials at QR20 per tonne. The rate of fine sand is marginally up (by QR5) since the start of the current year, according to committee officials.
Dr Aamir Al Addad, secretary of the committee, said at a news conference that the cost of infrastructure development projects over the next ten years has been estimated at an astronomical QR584bn.
Majid Al Mahmoud, Assistant Undersecretary in-charge of business affairs at the Trade Ministry, who heads up the committee, said it has coordinated closely with various government agencies, mainly the Qatar Statistics Authority, to prepare the index.
The committee plans to hold regular symposia, workshops and meetings with project managers, importers and senior officials of construction and contracting companies on the issue of pricing and availability of construction materials in Qatar.