KUWAIT CITY: The Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry monitors the market to control the prices of building materials, which are skyrocketing globally. The ministry issued a number of resolutions to maintain the prices of building materials, including banning the export and re-export of cement, timber, and iron, but allowing citizens to import building materials for their use. staff.
The ministry has also sent teams to monitor the market and beautiful construction workshops that are raising prices. The ministry “supports business and economic activities and ensures that goods, building materials and services in the local market meet Gulf and international standards, while protecting consumers from any deliberate price increases.”
Mohammad Al-Enezi, deputy undersecretary of the ministry for technical and commercial development, said. Building material prices have generally risen since December 2020, he admitted, but the ministry was closely monitoring stores violating price regulations and has indeed returned 29 stores to the prosecution since January. The ministry, on the other hand, addressed the obstacles facing local factories.
Al-Enezi, speaking to KUNA, said a ton of iron was sold with 248 Kuwaiti dinars (KD) (815 USD) and 1.05 to 1.2 KD for a bag of cement, the less expensive among neighboring countries. A price increase was caused by the stoppage of sea freight, he added, and said the increase in coronavirus cases and deaths in India, for example, has forced the goods to remain in the markets. ports for more than 90 days.
Dalal Al-Shemmeri, director of the ministry’s supply department, said the ministry subsidizes building materials like iron, cement and ready-mixed concrete, white and black insulating bricks and air conditioning units. Speaking to KUNA, Al-Shemmeri said 750 people had received material grants in May worth KD 13.7 million ($ 45 million).
Dr Nayef Al-Shemmeri, professor of economics at Kuwait University, said prices are subject to supply, not demand. Demand, he added, was “very limited”. He said the national cement production was around nine million tons per year, but the demand was six million tons. Raw materials were imported to make iron with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons, however, the market needs were 1.2 to 1.5 million tons.
Al-Shemmeri said opening doors to neighboring markets as well as reducing tariffs and administrative costs would help lower prices. He also proposed to set up storage warehouses at affordable prices.
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