Cambodia imported $244.754 million worth of “iron and steel” in the first eight months of 2022, up 19.97 per cent from the $204.018 million recorded over the same time in 2021, according to Customs.
Construction pundits have attributed this rise to increases in prices for the materials on source markets, as well as the fairly unimpeded construction progress made on locally-owned housing developments.
This category of items, corresponding to Chapter 72 of the harmonised tariff schedule, accounted for 1.12 per cent of the value of the Kingdom’s total imports over the period, at $21.764 billion, data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) show.
In August alone, iron and steel imports amounted to $29.494 million, up 18.76 per cent from the $24.835 million recorded in the same month of 2021. For comparison, the June and July figures were $35.920 million and $29.495 million, respectively, up 21.3 per cent and 20.6 per cent from $29.613 million and $24.464 million in the corresponding months of 2021. The GDCE did not reveal any tonnage figures.
Cambodia Constructors Association general manager Chiv Sivpheng linked the uptick in imports to the general headway made on housing projects owned by Cambodians, as well as the on-year jumps in the prices that importers paid for iron and steel during the eight-month period.
However, he said, the pace of construction has slowed at a number of sites due to the government’s tighter quality standards and technical regulations, while remaining sluggish at larger projects – or those typically associated with foreign investors.
Regardless, he argued that the Cambodian construction sector would recover as the risks from Covid-19 wane and the global economic situation improves.
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Author: Hin Pisei
Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date: 05 October 2022