The Construction Leadership Council has issued a warning that strong construction activity in the UK, especially in the new housing market, housing RMI and infrastructure sectors has caused a high demand for materials.

Evidence suggests that pipeline contracts are positive with a high number of contracts being awarded during the first quarter of this year.  With the current level of activity and signs of more ramping up to come, this places more pressure on the construction supply chain to deliver.

Although materials are still available, waiting times have lengthened and with the increased demand, manufacturers and suppliers are finding it hard to maintain stock levels.

Worse affected are supplies for roofing such as timber, roofing membranes and roof tiles.  Timber is in such global demand that the demand currently outstrips the supply, and the situation is unlikely to improve this year as the UK has almost no timber being imported other than what has already been pre-sold.  Other roofing supplies are expected to improve in availability during the second half of the year.

Other shortages include raw materials which are affecting the production of PE and PP plastics, PIR insulation, paints, adhesives and other coatings, and also packaging for other product groups.

Structural steel, internal steel products and galvanised steel has also been impacted upon with rising prices and longer delivery times due to global demand and other factors. The CLC have stated that evidence suggests that some steel products may suffer continued shortages into the second half of the year.

As landscaping in the UK rose in popularity over lockdown, pent up demand has placed additional pressure on suppliers and it is expected that although demand will be met for supplies, lead in times may be longer.

The CLC believe accurate forecasting will help alleviate availability issues and have advised that planning in advance, along with working closely with supply chains to establish which supplies are needed and when, will help to reduce the likelihood of delays.  In effect, “collaborative, ongoing communication throughout the whole supply chain is essential”.