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AfricaMoney | August 24, 2017

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Mauritius construction gets expensive as cement prices rise year-on-year

Mauritius construction gets expensive as cement prices rise year-on-year

The construction price index saw a rise of 1.4% in the second quarter of 2014 to hit 112.5 compared to 110.9 for the corresponding quarter of last year. (Image: Hennemann)

Cement prices in the island nation went up marginally by 0.3% in the second quarter on a year-on-year basis, according to data by Statistics Mauritius released today.

It may be noted that Holcim, one of the two largest cement operators in Mauritius, is withdrawing from the market due to a proposed merger between Holcim and Lafarge, hence the island’s cement market is expected to witness major changes next year.

However, Mauritius and other countries where these conglomerates are actively operating are feeling significant repercussions already, with prices of cement expected to turn volatile.

Overall, the construction price index saw a rise of 1.4% in the second quarter of 2014 to hit 112.5 compared to 110.9 for the corresponding quarter of last year, April-June 2013.

Comparing the end of the first quarter, March 2014, to the end of the second quarter, June 2014, the price index decreased by 0.1% or 0.1 points during the second quarter, from 112.6 to 112.5.

March and April were the months when the index remained at the same level of 112.6 while in May and June the index dipped slightly to 112.5.

Compared to the corresponding months of the previous year, the index showed an overall increase of 1.5% for April 2014 over April 2013, and 1.4% for both May and June 2014.

Prices of cement and timber carpentry increased by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively while there was a decline in prices of steel bars, electrical installation and galvanised corrugated iron sheet by 0.1%, 0.3% and 2.2% correspondingly.

The 0.3% increase in the prices of cement was on the account of higher prices of 0.1% in concrete and rendering to wall/ceiling.

There was no change registered in the labour, hire of plant and transport rates during the second quarter of 2014.

In March and April 2014, the materials sub-index remained at the same level of 112.3.

Finally, it may be noted that the overall outlook for the construction sector remains weak. The construction sector is expected to decline by -4.8% in 2014 after the reduction of -9.4% in 2013, mainly explained by a drop in major private construction projects.

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