Growth in the Kingdom’s construction sector has buoyed demand for cement and bricks to about nine million tonnes this year, causing prices to increase by some 10 per cent, data from local manufacturers said.

Chip Mong Insee Cement Corporation (CMIC), a local cement producer, has increased its cement supply by 10 per cent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, its public and government relations manager Tieng Sopheak Vichea said.

However, Sopheak Vichea said prices did not increase much during the period.

“Our selling prices in the first half of this year changed very similarly to production costs over the same period, at around three to four per cent. The main cause of [the production cost increase] is due to [rising] energy and packaging costs,” he said.

Sopheak Vichea said demand for cement used in Cambodia is slated to amount to between eight and nine million tonnes this year – up from between six and seven tonnes last year.

CMIC, which began operations in February last year, has the capacity to produce about 5,500 tonnes of cement per day, contributing 26 per cent of local demand.

The Kingdom currently has five cement factories – four in Kampot province and one in Battambang province.

Data from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction shows that in the first four months of this year, construction investment capital in Cambodia was worth $2.7 billion – up 67 per cent over the same period last year.

There is no data on the demand and supply of steel during the first six months of this year.

Data from Vietnamese customs shows that in the first seven months of last year, Cambodia imported 717,572 metric tonnes of steel from there – up 49 per cent from the same period in 2017 – while its value increased to $462.73 million or an increase of 77.9 per cent.

Brick demand, price and supply have all shown growth this year.

Try Muyleng, the supervisor at Prek Anhchanh Brick Handicraft in Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district, said demand has increased every year as new kilns enter the industry.

He said his kiln has the capacity to produce between 40,000 and 50,000 bricks per day and can sell 10,000 bricks for $400, an increase from $380 last year.

Happiness Brick Handicraft supervisor in Kandal province, Bun Yus, said brick prices had increased around 10 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“I have heard that bricks are also being imported from Vietnam because of the high demand,” he said.

National Committee on Child Labour secretary-general Veng Hieng said there are currently 400 brick kilns in Cambodia employing nearly 6,000 workers.

Cambodia Constructors Association general manager Chiv Sivpheng said progress in the construction sector has contributed significantly to national economic growth.

“The construction sector is growing everywhere, so the demand for construction materials goes up accordingly,” he said.