Latest construction product availability statement for June

Statement from John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation and Peter Caplehorn, CEO of the Construction Products Association, co-chairs of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group.

In general, product availability is improving. Some products, including bricks, aircrete blocks, some roof tiles and semi-conductors, which are extensively used in building services products and gas boilers, remain on allocation or subject to longer lead times. Otherwise manufacturers are mostly keeping up with demand and, as stated in the last report.

Demand is expected to remain positive into the second half of 2022, though some sectors such as private housing RM&I appear to be coming off their highest levels for certain products. Market participants suggest that a slight slowdown in demand may in fact serve to allow stocks to be rebuilt and improve availability.

Average inflation for products and materials so far this year has been around 23%; with more significant price increases in energy intensive products such as insulation, cement, concrete and many steel products. Further price increases for those products are anticipated in the second half of the year owing to rising energy prices and input costs.

Timber prices, however, have largely stabilised from the highs of last summer. This is largely due to easing demand and strong stocks of structural timber on the ground in the UK making supplies readily available for contractors and merchants. The price of structural timber in Europe and America remains firm to strong and, as a consequence, UK imports of structural timber are reducing. Some panel products have even seen reductions since the first quarter but structural Plywood prices remain firm. Birch Plywood and its potential substitutes have seen little or no availability due to Russian sanctions causing significant upwards price pressure for these products.

The UK Government made a major announcement regarding the transition to the UK marking ahead of the ending of recognition of CE marking on 31 December 2022. The change will allow manufacturers with existing type tests from EU notified bodies under AVCP System 3, where the product was tested by 31 December 2022, to affix the UK mark to their products, and to continue to supply them to the GB market without needing to be retested.

Read the full statement

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