CLC warns of material shortages due to COVID

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has recently warned that cement, some electrical components, timber, steel, and paints are all in short supply, citing “unprecedented levels of demand” that are set to continue “for the foreseeable future”.

The most notable factor to supply problems is that construction industry projects have surged since lockdown began easing, leading to a high demand for materials. Projections indicate that high demand for materials will continue over the next six months, which mirrors similar projections worldwide, as major economies such as China, the USA and the EU surge following lockdowns.

Furthermore, with demand increasing across the globe and the UK importing many of its raw materials, not only is demand outstripping supply but prices of materials are also rising. The Office for National Statistics is projecting a rise of 7-8% in material prices, with increases for certain materials, such as timber, expected to more than double during the year, the CLC warned

These shortages cause on-site delays and disruption to projects, which in-turn leads to financial risk such as contractors becoming exposed to liquidated damages and delay costs, as well as incurring their own additional consequential costs such as paying for extended site preliminaries, it added.