Money

Iron, steel prices rise by up to Rs8 per kg

- Madhav Dhungana, BHAIRAHAWA
The prices have increased to Rs58-68 per kg, excluding value added tax, from Rs52-68 per kg until two weeks ago

Aug 21, 2016-Prices of iron and steel products have been risen by up to Rs8 per kg over the last two weeks amid a rise in the demand for the construction materials for reconstruction purposes.

The prices have increased to Rs58-68 per kg excluding value added tax (VAT) from Rs52-68 per kg until two weeks ago, according to Rupandehi Hardware Entrepreneurs’ Association.

Hardware traders have blamed “manufactures’ cartel” behind the hike in the prices, while the producers have termed the hikes “nominal and normal”.

“The manufacturers have hiked the prices at a time when the demand has increased for reconstruction and other construction purposes,” said Sunil Marasini, president of the association. “A bundle of iron rods has become dearer by at least Rs1,000.”

The traders expressed surprise over the sudden price hike a time when petroleum prices have been decreasing and the problem of load shedding is not as critical as it is during winter.

However, Hari Neupane, director of Ambe Steel, said the has increased by just Rs3 per kg due to rise in the cost of production. “It is a nominal price rise which is normal,” he said, refuting cartel allegations.

“The production has gone down due to lower power supply as the Kaligandaki Hydropower Project has been closed for maintenance,” he said. “This has created a shortage of steel rods in the market to some extent.”

After the sudden price rise, Rupandehi Hardware Entrepreneurs Association held a meeting on Tuesday and urged the manufacturers to reconsider their decision. “We don’t have problem in selling iron rods based on the increased prices,” said Marasini. “But the general consumers are facing hardships.”

He said the traders are also not getting enough supply from the producers.

 

 

 

 

 

Published: 21-08-2016 08:57

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