However, as mentioned in Agency53’s last review of BMBI results it will take time for all categories to recovery so it will come as no surprise that a year on from the start of the pandemic when PPE products were in significant demand and a necessity for all, the Work and Safetywear category fell in Q1 by 8.9%.
Speaking on behalf of the Builders Merchants Federation Ltd, CEO John Newcomb said: “The first three months of the year may have seen the country once again in lockdown but even this could not prevent a boom in construction activity.”
He added: “This is an excellent start to the year and we are already seeing strong product demand in many areas, notably timber which has been one of the main drivers for growth during the quarter.”
With the topic of product shortages becoming ever more critical the BMF CEO elaborated on the joint statement he made earlier in the week with Peter Caplehorn, CEO of the Construction Products Association (CPA). The two co-chair the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group regarding the availability of building products and materials.
The statement read: “Activity in the UK construction sector, already high at the start of the year, has been very robust and picked up sharply from the beginning of March. New housing and repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI), together with infrastructure, have led the way. We now also see increasingly strong performance in the commercial and industrial sub-sectors, applying further strain on the supply chain.
“Back in March we warned that product availability would worsen before it improved. This is proving to be the case; projections indicate that strong demand will continue over the next six months. This mirrors similar projections worldwide, as major economies such as China, the US and the EU surge following lockdowns.”
“In fact, most of the shortages of products and raw materials impacting the market have been driven by both global and domestic supply and demand factors. Previously reported issues relating to timber, steel, pitched roofing, plastics and paints/coatings continue. Growing areas of concern, however, include certain electronic components and bagged cement.”
“Previously reported issues relating to timber, steel, pitched roofing, plastics and paints/coatings continue. Growing areas of concern, however, include certain electronic components and bagged cement.”
The CLC also cited the need for an industry wide collaborative effort to manage this unprecedented situation which would include:
– Allocation systems, transparent as possible so all customers can be seen to be treated fairly
– The accuracy and timeliness of communications will reduce current frustrations
– Production for major projects should not be seen to adversely affect volumes available for smaller and regular customers
In the last few years, there has been extraordinary levels of demand in many product categories and with no sign of an end. Managing product demand is now of paramount importance, we are in this for the foreseeable future.
Full CLC statement – https://bit.ly/34mW2sT
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