The seasonal boom in construction is being blamed for rising building materials prices. The demand for sand, cement, brick and steel all rise in the final months of the year as individuals and enterprises rush to complete repairs and construction projects before the lunar new year.
Cement prices have increased 10 per cent while the prices of brick and sand have also risen by about 7-12 per cent since earlier in the year.
Sand, used in mixing cement, has become harder to come buy during the year-end building season, with authorities cracking down on illegal sand dredging along many waterways.
Brick kilns have also fallen behind seasonal demand.
Cao Danh Man, General Girector of Danh Man Company Ltd, a distributor of brick products, said the company no longer had supplies to sell and were back-ordered by over a week.
"Prices in November rose by VND30 per brick, about 4 per cent over earlier prices," Man said.
Cement prices have also risen by VND40-50,000 ($2-2.50) per tonne. Manufacturers Nam Ha and Vinakasai Ninh Binh were selling at VND710,000 ($35.50) and VND850,000 ($42.50) per tonne, respectively.
At the retail level, the price of Ha Tien-branded cement has increased from VND70,000 ($3.50) to VND73,000 ($3.65) per 50-kg bag.
The Viet Nam Steel Corporation has increased steel prices by VND300,000 per tonne, with steelmakers Vina Kyoei, Pomina, Viet-Han and Viet-Duc all following suit. Rolled steel stood at VND14.5-14.8 million ($726-740) per tonne, up VND1.5 million ($75) per tonne from prices in July, while steel bar was priced at VND14.6-15.3 million ($728-765).
The Viet Nam Steel Association attributed increased steel prices to rising global prices for pig iron and scrap steel, both heavily imported as raw materials in domestic steel production. An unfavourable foreign exchange rate had also driven up the prices of these raw materials.
Steel prices have risen, however, even while production has outstripped demand this year by 2.6 million tonnes.