Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Construction sector jittery after signs of virus impact



Construction sector jittery after signs of virus impact

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia imported 879,394 tonnes of building materials worth $317.74 million in the first quarter of this year. HENG CHIVOAN

Construction sector jittery after signs of virus impact

Cambodia imported 879,394 tonnes of building materials worth $317.74 million in the first quarter of this year as the sector braces for impact from the ongoing health crisis.

Broken down by category, the Kingdom imported 100,440 tonnes of steel worth $66.83 million, 384,609 tonnes of cement worth $24.57 million and 394,346 tonnes of construction equipment worth $226.34 million, data from the Department of Planning Statistics and Trade Information under the Ministry of Commerce’s General Department of Domestic Trade shows.

Most of the materials came from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Italy and Germany.

Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association president Chrek Soknim told The Post on Wednesday that the Kingdom’s construction industry was performing well at the beginning of the first quarter.

However, as the Covid-19 outbreak tightened its grip, construction projects experienced some slowdown or came to a halt. “Everything had been going well in the first quarter, so the demand for construction materials was huge.”

He said construction activity had been normal this year until mid-March, but has dropped significantly since the beginning of this month.

Not only has the construction sector fallen, he said, the real estate market is stagnant. “I believe that all sectors will shrink in the second quarter, not just the construction sector.”

Cambodia Constructors Association general manager and secretary Chiv Sivpheng told The Post that construction in the Kingdom did not decline in the first three months of this year.

“In the first quarter, the amount of capital investment in the construction sector approved by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction was up 51 per cent compared to the same period in 2019,” he said.

Noting that construction sites are currently not as active as in the first quarter, Sivpheng said the outbreak would hit the sector in the second quarter.

Last week, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Yos Monirath told a press conference that Cambodia currently has five cement plants that are capable of producing more than eight million tonnes per annum.

“Cambodia has the ability to produce its own cement for domestic consumption without having to import it from abroad. We have enough cement manufacturing plants in the country, it means that we have not to spend any extra money on cement,” he said.

The Kingdom imported 4,667,077 tonnes of building materials worth $1.70 billion last year, up from 3,181,142 tonnes worth $1.07 billion in 2018, data from the department shows.

MOST VIEWED

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Scholarship winner tells secrets to success

    Chhim Chaknineath was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for one year of postgraduate study in the UK for the academic year 2022-2023 along with a group of 10 other outstanding students who applied. She spent more than a year researching and studying – as well as consulting with