A Granite Surprise

A Granite Surprise

Six weeks ago, there was a sudden disruption of granite supply from Indonesia. Fortunately, we are prepared for such surprises.

First, we have a national granite stockpile to help the industry tide over any temporary disruption. Second, we have always required all importers to have a small supply from distant regional sources, even during normal times. This is an important diversification strategy. Third, we have a drawer plan to respond to such temporary disruptions.

The Government put the drawer plan into action. We activated the release of granite from the national stockpile. We encouraged the importers to ramp up supply from their distant sources.

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Five weeks after the activation of the plan, I am glad that the situation is returning to normal. Since early March, we have seen a steady resumption of granite supply from Indonesia. Supplies from other sources are coming in readily. And there has been no request to draw down from the national stockpile for the last 13 days.

Accordingly, the Government will suspend the application for granite stockpile release from 14 March 2014

This episode is a useful reminder for us not to take things for granted. We have limited resources. At any time our dependency for any natural resource is at stake. A source diversification strategy has helped the construction industry tide over this brief period of granite supply disruption. And together with our national stockpile, it has buffered us well.

But we must not be complacent. We will replenish the stockpile. More importantly, BCA will continue to promote the use of steel, drywalls and recycled concrete aggregates, so as to reduce our reliance on imports of natural aggregates.

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