The cost of steel in the Philippines can vary dramatically from place to place and despite being assured they have plenty of stock you need to have a standby supplier too. Running out of steel as you build means huge domino delays and contractors standing around at your cost.
Just some suppliers in the Philippines Hard to locate online
Wholesale and retail prices of construction materials in Metro Manila continued to drop in May from year-ago levels, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
The Construction Materials Wholesale Price Index (CMWPI) at the National Capital Region (NCR) was recorded at a negative rate of 0.4 percent in May, the data agency said in a report.
This compares with a 2.2-percent growth in May 2014.
In fact, wholesale prices of construction materials have gone down for the sixth straight month in May.
The PSA said this is mainly due to the lower fuel prices compared to last year.
“A downward annual adjustment was still noticed in fuels and lubricants index at -14.9 percent,” it said.
On the other hand, higher annual rates were observed in cement index (0.7 percent); plywood index (5.5 percent); electrical works index (4.2 percent); and plumbing fixtures and accessories index (6.6 percent).
On a month-on-month basis, wholesale prices of selected construction materials went up 0.5 percent in May.
“Higher prices of gasoline, diesel and fuel oil were registered during the month,” the PSA said.
“Moreover, upward price adjustments were noted in sand and gravel, concrete products, cement, plywood, door jambs, electrical wires, paints, selected hardware items such as common wire nails, plumbing fixtures and accessories and PVC pipes,” it added.
The indices of cement and plumbing fixtures and accessories retained their previous month’s rates while the other commodity groups had flat growth.
In another report, the PSA said the Construction Materials Retail Price Index (CMRPI) in NCR dropped 0.2 percent in May from a 1.1-percent growth in the same month last year.
Shopping for steel. From a Blog article
It does seem very difficult to save money on basic materials such as cement and steel. While there are hundreds of construction supply firms, post-negotiation prices vary only by a few pesos. There are some pitfalls. Our specifications called for our roof trusses to be made of 2″ X 2″ X 1/4″ angle bar. Give this spec to construction material sellers and you’ll be excited by the price variations, hoping for a bargain. Look deeper and you’ll see that there is no 1/4″ thick angle bar available. After looking at angle bar from various sellers, I decided to buy a vernier caliper so that I could measure the thickness of various items. It turns out that the prices varied because their response for a price on “2x2x1/4″ included material not even remotely meeting the specification; 4mm, 5mm, 5.5mm and 6mm angle bar. One-fourth inch equals 6.35mm, so all were technically substandard. The caliper is also useful for detecting undersized rebar. Not surprisingly, it turns out that, once again, price differences are minor once you’ve finally managed compare products with similar specs.
There’s another complication. It turns out that steel is sold by kilograms per meter. This may be a fair way to price steel products, but a difficult translation when your engineering specs call for 2″x2″x1/4″!
So when shopping for steel in the Philippines, you have to be on your toes. Some, perhaps even most suppliers will automatically ship you substandard steel unless you are educated and persistent. Make it clear that you will return any substandard material. Once sellers know that, they will be more careful. You must be there when the steel arrives at the building site to inspect the material before it is unloaded. Good sellers will ask you to go to their yards and inspect the material before the purchase is made.