July 11, 2022

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NCR prices of building materials surge in April

RETAIL PRICES of building materials in Metro Manila grew at its fastest annual pace in more than 13 years in April amid global supply constraints caused by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed the National Capital Region’s (NCR) construction materials retail price index (CMRPI) rose by an annualized 6.1% in April, faster than the 4.8% print in March.

This was also significantly higher than the 1.3% print recorded in April 2021.

The April print was the highest year-on-year growth for building materials prices in NCR in over 13 years, or since the 6.2% growth logged in February 2009.

For the January to April period, the CMRPI in Metro Manila averaged 4.3%, higher than the 1.2% in the comparable four months a year ago.

Asian Institute of Management economist John Paolo R. Rivera said retail prices of building materials were affected by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which disrupted global supply chains. He also cited the higher demand for construction materials as economic activity increased.

“The depreciation of the peso, with respect to the US dollar, made imported construction materials more expensive,” Mr. Rivera said in a text message.

In April, the Philippine peso averaged P51.9760 against the dollar, weaker than the P48.4620 average in April last year, central bank data showed.

The price growth in construction materials was driven by faster year-on-year increase seen in all commodity groups, led by tinsmithry materials (8.1% in April from 7.3% in March).

Retail prices of the following materials also grew annually: plumbing materials (7.9% in April from 6.9% in March), carpentry materials (1.5% from 1.3%), miscellaneous construction materials (10.6% from 6.7%), painting materials and related compounds (3.7% from 2.5%), electrical materials (4% from 3.6%), and masonry materials (3.3% from 2.1%).

Retail construction prices reflect the demand from small-scale building contractors.

Retail prices of construction materials may continue to rise in the next few months, Mr. Rivera said. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona