Cement shortage hits the Bahamas

Cement shortage hits the Bahamas
09 May 2022

Cement shortages have hit the Bahamian construction industry at least three times in the past month, according to Stephen Wrinkle, the former Bahamian Contractors Association president.

“This has happened three times’ in the past month,” he revealed. “It will have a significant impact if we cannot pour concrete or manufacture blocks. It really impedes construction here. Most of our work is done with concrete and concrete blocks. We’ve had to wait on concrete pours, and it’s disrupted our schedule. We have to wait on the boat to come in.”

The shortages have led to fears about cost hikes as high as 20 per cent for the construction sector. “They were running way over time on the weekend last time it happened trying to catch up, and it costs them more money. The supply chain, once it’s broken, has a chain reaction on costs and productivity. Everybody is trying to build things and get moving. The construction industry is quite busy at the moment. But the problems are out of our reach, out of our control for us and the local suppliers,” said Mr Wrinkle.

Timothy Clarke, president of Bahamas Construction Co, told Tribune Business: “There is a cement shortage in the region because of the global supply chain, and cost of shipping into this area has gone up. Because of the supply chain disruption, the price of cement has gone up dramatically.

“Because of the shortage, the price has been increased. So right now if you go into some of the hardware stores you would find cement at JMD22 [US$22] a bag, but when there is no shortage or disruption it can go anywhere from JMD14 to JMD17 depending on what’s available.”

The two main supply lines for cement in the Bahamas are Mexico and Haiti. Leonard Sands, the current BCA president, said he had been made aware of the supply shortfall on Wednesday but suggested that the issue will be resolved in the next 7-14 days.

Published under Cement News