Order book levels remain strong
Prices for fabricated steelwork are expected to rise by only an average of 15% over 2006, depending on the type of building, according to forecasts from the BCSA.
Strong demand, continuing upwards pressure on raw materials and other production costs are driving worldwide steel prices higher, leading producer Corus to increase the price of steel sections at the end of April 2006. Mill prices are expected to rise again in the summer, with the possibility of a further increase in the autumn.
“Despite the increases steel continues to be the world’s most popular construction medium and UK steelwork contractors are experiencing record levels of demand with order books now at typically six months,” said BCSA Director General Dr Derek Tordoff.
BCSA said Stockholder prices may increase more than mill prices. Prices for plates and tubes may increase at higher rates than sections, due to very large demands from the energy sector. Prices for galvanizing are expected to rise significantly again, which will feed through prices for purlins and decking.
“All construction materials are feeling the same upwards pressure on prices,” says Dr Tordoff. “It is worth noting that steel framed buildings contain only 33% more steel than an equivalent reinforced concrete building. Concrete buildings are affected not only by material price increases in steel, but also the rising costs of cement, aggregates, shuttering and site labour.”
Safety, reliability and sustainability are increasingly accepted as key issues in steel’s favour. Quality and reliability will be further advanced in September 2006 when CE marking of steel sections becomes the norm. Market research shows that steel is continuing to win new markets in schools, hospitals, residential buildings and car parks. Safety and reliability are becoming more widely recognised as key advantages of building with steel.