Sudden Decrease in Price of Metal

It has been an amazing ride this year! First, commodity prices were going up at an obviously unsustainable rate. Now prices material prices (internationally) have crashed. One easy example, copper, which was selling for 4.01 dollars per pound is now under 2.00 dollar per pound, gas which was up to 150 dollars per barrel is now down to around 65.

How does this impact the price of raw materials that we need to build a house? If you remember the previous post here Inflation in the price of building materials in Thailand we have been concerned about the recent price run up. Well, of course what goes up must come down!

Interestingly, although metal prices (which makes up approximately 11 percent of the budget of a typical bungalow project) have come back down to mid 2007 levels, the prices of cement is still near the high. My assumption is that prices of all building materials will start to creep down from here with the metal price the quickest to respond, due to the fact that it is driven by international demand/pricing.

The following update shows the current pricing of the selected materials I reported on before…..

Specification (English) Specification (Thai) Price Jan 1, 2008 Price Aug 21, 2008 Price Nov 6, 2008
Rebar 2 Hun 6 mm. SD30 (Dem) เส้นกลม 1/4 (มอก) โรงเล็กทั่วไป 50 82 45
Rebar 3 Hun 9 mm. SD30 (Dem) เส้นกสม 3/8 โรงเล็กทั่วไป 102 155 93
Rebar 4 Hun 12 mm ribbed surface SD30 ข้ออ้อย 12 มม (เหลือง) 199 295 183
Steel Weighted Avg Change     -9%
Cement 50 KG Bag Portland In See Phet (Diamond) อินทรีเพชร 130 150 139
Cement 50 KG Bag Nok In See Daeng (Red) อินทรีแดง 115 127 127
Cement Weighted Avg. Price Increase     15%


Cement prices are still up on the year but steel prices are significantly down. The trend is that price deflation is starting to filter into the market in other goods but it will be a slow process. Certainly building today would cost a lot less as far as materials than just a few months ago, probably close to the cost at the beginning of the year.

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  1. Hi Dozer, would you happen to know the current price of pre mixed concrete for ring beems and columns plus delivery in the Ubon Ratchathani area at all as i’m trying to get a rouhg estimate on my build.

    cheers martin b

  2. Sorry Martin, not current on prices and wouldn’t know for Ubon Rat. Best to ask on the forum. Cheers, Dozer

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