Egypt Watch

A disaster is threatening Egypt: Milled iron invades the markets

Construction companies and real estate construction companies in Egypt increasingly rely on buying iron unfit for construction and not observing the standard specifications due to its low price, threatening a country-wide real estate disaster.

The General Division for Building Materials issued a warning about the presence of tonnes of fake steel reinforcement, which does not conform to the specifications in terms of hardness and the possibility of corrosion, as a result of the long storage period.

The head of the General Division for Building Materials, Ahmed al-Zaini, says that using this low iron quality threatens a disaster, especially with contracting companies that buy it at a low price without adhering to standard specifications, threatening the safety of buildings and real estate installations.

A member of the Building Materials Division at the Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, Khaled al-Dejwi, explains that that iron is steel that conforms to specifications and from well-known national companies. Still, it is damaged due to weather factors, especially in the winter season. He adds that some traders resort to storing iron for long periods in warehouses that are not properly equipped which exposes it to oxidation factors, and it rusts and turns red. Then these merchants and shop owners resort to displaying the stock at prices lower than the market price in an attempt to disburse these quantities quickly. Unfortunately, they may succeed in marketing large quantities. This represents a disaster that threatens building safety, and thus the lives of the citizens inside those properties.

Adel Moussa, the owner of a steel distribution company, says: “Our voice has become hoarse from the complaint to the officials about the necessity of eliminating the phenomenon of trade intruders and brokers entering the iron market without experience or knowledge of the nature of iron or how to store it properly.” He adds: “Brokers entered the market who take advantage of the existence of an area of land that does not have buildings, and they buy quantities of iron and store it while waiting for the price to increase.”

These people realise the problem when the iron begins to be affected by the weather, and black spots appear on the iron skewers and then spreads until it turns entirely to rust so they offer it at a lower price so that they can get rid of it.