Steel prices in Saudi Arabia plunged by nearly 20 percent this week after surging to one of their highest levels due to the war in Ukraine, local newspapers said on Wednesday. 

From around 3,740 Saudi riyals ($1,000) per tonne in March, the price has dipped to 2,860-3,080 riyals ($763-821) over the past few days depending on the product, they said, citing traders in the Gulf Kingdom. 

Sabq daily said the decline was due to a decision by some countries to raise interest rates to check inflation while Almadina newspaper quoted local dealers as saying it was caused by higher supply of Russian steel worldwide. 

“Traders and developers in the Kingdom said they believe the price decline will stimulate the construction market after a lull caused by a sharp rise in the prices of building materials,” Almadina said. 

The paper, citing a report by the Saudi General Statistics Authority, said steel prices soared in March to a 10-month high and to one of their highest levels in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest construction market. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)