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Sunday, December 01, 2013 

More supplies drops Uganda building material pri

KAMPALA, Uganda--A buyer’s market has emerged in Uganda due to abundant supplies of building materials which has led to a fall in construction costs in the third quarter of 2013.
 According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) construction sector indices survey covering June to September, prices for the whole sector decreased by 8.7% in the year ending September.
UBOS Statistician, John Bonaventure Musoke told a news conference prices for construction inputs like cement, roofing sheets and limestone went down.
“There was stable decline in the prices of roofing sheets  cement and limestone by 4.8%1.1% and 1.1% respectively in the month of September  2013 however  average prices  of timber PVC pipes aggregates equipment hire and burnt clay. Bricks remained stable in the month of September,” Musoke said.
He said the average prices of inputs for the categories of non-residential buildings and civil works decreased  by 0.1% each while average prices of inputs  for the residential buildings category decreased by 0.2% in the month of September
Private construction firms told East African Business Week the sector is getting some relief following the government’s efforts in attracting more investors to manufacturing of construction related materials.
He gave the example of  iron sheets, nails, angle bars and this has forced manufactures to cut prices for their products.  
 “The construction sector is now operating in competitive environment for the inputs suppliers. The market trend has changed the more they manufacture the more construction firms will be buying construction inputs very cheap as compared to the early 1990s when the country entirely  depended on very few  producers of  construction inputs,” Engineer Peter  Magola of  XTD Construction said.
Uganda currently has more than 15 steel manufacturing companies which are involved in the making of construction related inputs.
Steadily increasing output due to improved productivity and modernisation has also helped lower prices. Not long ago, Roofings (Uganda) officially opened one of largest factories in East Africa.
Magola said the cost of other related construction inputs like cement is also going down drastically.
He said in many places a 50 kilogramme bag of cement is costing about Ush 36,000  (about $14) but starting from July to date the price of cement has gone down to Ush26,000 (approximate $10).
 Magola said the decline in the cement prices is also directly as result of the constant production rates of cement from the producing companies in Uganda  and also the gains from the competitiveness inthe East African Common Market which has enabled the private sector to import cheaper cement from other parts of the region, especially Kenya.

By Samuel Nabwiiso, Sunday, December 01st, 2013