Construction product shortages “likely to worsen before they improve.”

Demand for construction products remains high both in the UK and globally and is set to continue throughout 2021 in every sector. However, imported products such as fasteners, screws and fixings are experiencing longer lead times and, as a consequence, higher prices. This means the availability issues we are currently experiencing are likely to worsen before they improve.

A statement from the CLC Product Availability group, detailed that prior to the temporary blockage of the Suez Canal, there was a slight lowering of both container costs and delivery times of these imported goods. However, while supply and demand are likely to rebalance within the next few months, global dynamics will continue to drive prices up.

Plastics (PE and PP), cement and aggregates have joined existing lists of products in short supply, including timber, steel, roof tiles, bricks and imported products such as screws, fixing, plumbing items, sanitary ware, shower enclosures, electrical products and appliances.

Raw material shortages constraining polymer supplies are causing production problems for plastics (lower ground drainage etc). Coatings manufacturers are also experiencing raw material shortages beyond their control, at a time when demand is particularly high. It is expected that these issues will continue for at least 2-3 months.

The statement claimed that several industries should plan for increased demand and longer delays, keep open lines of communication with their suppliers and order early for future projects.

The CLC’s product availability group will continue to monitor the situation and product shortages. The CPA and the BMF – who jointly chair the group – produce quarterly forecasts on market activity which is helping manufacturers to plan output.

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