THE price of steel rods (varillas) used for construction has stabilized since a large shipment of steel entered the country two weeks ago, according to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce.
In recent months, the construction of massive public works and industrial projects in China has sparked a worldwide shortage of steel and a sharp increase in the product’s international price.
The shortage directly affected Costa Rica, where, on average, the price of steel rods increased 10.95% during January. The most dramatic increase was to the price of 3/8-inch rods – the most commonly used type – which increased by 27%. The increase resulted in a nearly 30% drop in construction in Costa Rica during January (TT, Feb. 27).
The new shipment succeeded in stabilizing rod prices here but has done little to reduce them, according to Ministry statistics.