Demand for construction materials in Myanmar has dropped in recent months, due to the celebration of Buddhist lent, construction materials traders say.
Pebbles in particular have seen a marked fall in prices, as homeowners have been less concerned with building and renovating their homes during the lent period, which runs from mid-July to mid-October.
Traditionally in Myanmar culture, followers are encouraged to spend the lent period focusing on charitable deeds, and very few Buddhists move house during the period.
“As this is towards the end of Buddhist lent, many people turn to their donations,” sai Ko Than Aung from Aswe Taw Construction Material. “Businesses will be better again in December, but the low amount of purchases compared with the high supply has led to a fall in prices,” he added.
In October, a box of pebbles, which are measured in boxes that are 10 square feet by one feet, was priced at K50,000 ($50), dropping from K70,000 ($70).
Cement too has seen a small drop. “One bag of cement was sold for K5,700 ($5.7) last month, but has dropped to K5,300 ($5.3),” said U Soe Thu from Toe Kyaw Construction Material shop.
However, local sellers say that brick prices have risen slightly and sandstone is remaining relatively stable.