Supply of gas boilers and M&E products remains a challenge

The availability of construction products is improving across the board driven by the slow start to 2023, according to a Construction Leadership Council working group. 

A reduced level of activity, poor weather and a delayed return to sites after the Christmas break were all cited as contributing factors to softening demand across regions and product types. 


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Timber prices could rise in the second quarter as European mills reduce production over winter

The latest report from the CLC’s product availability working group reported ongoing problems with gas boilers and M&E products, where global supply chains are a more significant factor. 

Working group co-chairs John Newcomb and Peter Caplehorn said bricks, blocks and roof tiles remained on allocation in some regions but that “with manufacturers managing deliveries and builders’ merchants adjusting to the situation and carrying extra stock, the majority of end-users are not experiencing shortages”. 

Timber prices have continued to fall but will likely rise in the second quarter as European mills reduce production over winter, while the prices of energy intensive products increased by 10% in January due to energy and distribution costs. 

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The pair reported improved shipping costs from east Asia, down 80% from last year’s high and approaching pre-covid levels. 

But they warned that a Covid surge in China, combined with the closure of factories in the country for last weekend’s Chinese New Year celebrations, could affect supply chains.