Present localised lockdown prevailing in some regions like Maharashtra and Karnataka has affected the sale of building materials but the impact is not as harsh as it was last year when there was complete shutdown. However, sales has come down as the lockdown was declared mainly in areas which are considered to be the commercial hubs of the country.
However, traders, in lockdown areas, have shut their shops following lockdown rules but at the same time they are supplying to different working sites where construction activities are being carried on as per demand. Through this way they are trying to cover some portion of their fixed cost which was not possible during last year’s lockdown. However, they are missing out on walk-in demand and also loss of demand due to shutting down of construction sites (due to non-availability of labour). Most of the traders we spoke to hope that the things will normalise soon.
Unlike in 2020 lockdown, this time there are exemptions to building construction sites, furniture manufacturing units and sale of essentials to farmers (including agri pipes) which are providing partial relief to the traders.
However, most of them are worried that the lockdown and consequent loss of business is happening at the peak of the season and that too when the things were looking promising for most of them. Also, most of them had stocked the materials hoping for a better summer season and the second wave has poured cold water on their expectations.