Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Prices for building materials in Gaza plummet

Palestine Today reports that the price of construction materials like cement and iron pipes has gone down some 30% in recent months.

Most of the decline comes because of a great increase of these materials coming from Egypt through the smuggling tunnels.

Interestingly, the article is saying that the prices of smuggled materials is lower than for materials that come from Israel though the Kerem Shalom crossings: 525 shekels versus 540 shekels per ton of cement, 3400 shekels vs. 4000 shekels per ton of iron. Aggregate is still cheaper from Israel, though.

I was under the impression that all the building material coming through Israel was earmarked for specific NGO projects like UNRWA schools and housing. I don't know if these prices reflect what the NGOs pay, or if it indicates a further loosening of restrictions on building materials from Israel, or if there is a black market in construction materials meant for UNRWA and other NGOs.