The cost of buying property in Malaysia looks set to increase after analysts predicted that the spiraling cost of oil on the international market could trigger domestic cement price hikes.
Crude oil prices tipped the US$92 per barrel mark in New York yesterday with experts saying the increase in demand triggered each year when the European and US winters lead to sharp rises in the amount of oil used for home heating, could mean costs could reach US$100 a barrel within months.
The high oil costs are having a knock-on effect on cement in Malaysia, a country which relies heavily on imported cement, that is in turn increasing construction costs. Cement shortages in some regions, such as the Northern province of Sabah, has meant a number of construction projects have ground to a halt.
The country´s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has said his government will hold off on increasing the heavily regulated cement costs for the rest of the year, but that in 2008 they would be “forced to take global trends into account”.