July 13, 2008

Stockpile Steel Bars, Says MBAM

ONE way to stabilise escalating steel costs is for the government to set up a steel bar stockpile, Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) said, adding that it would give contractors much needed breathing space.

It said if the government were to spend RM1 billion to acquire 350,000 tonnes of steel bars, that would sustain the industry for three months.

However, some analysts sound the suggestion is unfeasible as the government would have to pay for the steel bars as well as storage space.

MBAM secretary-general Yap Yoke Keong also said many local steelmillers are exporting their products as they can fetch higher prices than supplying the local markets, and that has resulted in 20 to 30 per cent shortage of the product in the country.

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