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SAEMA – Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association – is sharing this story, which is likely to have an impact to a certain degree on most companies in the construction sector and its supply chain.

A statement from John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation and Peter Caplehorn, CEO of the Construction Products Association (and co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group) have stated that 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.

As a result, product availability – which was forecast to worsen after March of this year – is indeed suffering. 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.

A separate press release form the Builders Merchants Journal reports on global timber shortages, which have put the UK housebuilding industry’s supply chain in the eye of a perfect storm – with faltering availability and rapidly rising costs of basic materials such as roofing batten, presenting a serious challenge to the housebuilding industry – and one they must face and deal with together.

The CLC  is asking the industry to take a fair approach to materials distribution in the wake of worsening shortages – suggesting rationing to make sure smaller firms get their fair share of dwindling supplies.

A spokesperson said: “Any allocation systems should be as transparent as possible so all customers can be seen to be treated fairly. Customers should not over-order unnecessarily, while manufacturers should not promise delivery dates that cannot be achieved, only to cancel at short notice.

“Where relevant, the production for major projects – which is typically scheduled well in advance – should not be seen to adversely affect volumes available for smaller, regular customers.”

Read more news here.