Price inflation stabilises as building materials stock levels improve

A slowdown in demand for building materials has allowed availability of construction products to improve, with brick stocks now at their highest since May 2021.

Improvements to the balance of product demand and supply – and less volatile prices – were welcomed by national trade body, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

John Newcomb is CEO of the BMF and co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council Product Availability Group, which has released its latest Product Availability Statement.

He said: “Demand has slowed in recent months, which has allowed manufacturers to rebuild stocks and prices to stabilise, although energy and labour costs may lead to further volatility in the spring.

“The majority of brick manufacturers are now reporting up to eight weeks’ supply for most brick types at current levels of demand, while the UK currently has large stocks for most grades of timber, with substitutes available for products such as birch plywood and Siberian larch cladding that can no longer be sourced from Russia because of the war.”

Supplies to the UK have been affected by several major international events in recent years, including the Russian war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic.

While no major disruptions have been reported as yet, supplies of steel from Turkey could be affected by the recent earthquakes.

As one of the world’s largest exports of raw iron bars, Turkey’s ports are a vital connection for steel rebar and structural steel global trade.

John Newcomb added: “A better product demand and supply balance is welcome after a turbulent period, and while we continue to monitor international events such as the earthquake in Turkey, it is good to see that work in every major construction sector, apart from commercial, remains above pre-pandemic levels.”

BMF’s All Industry Conference 2023 is scheduled to take place in Istanbul later this year.

Following the earthquake, BMF and event management company, First Event, joined forces to rase funds for medical aid, emergency shelter, food and clean water for the people affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

BMF and First Event’s Just Giving page can be found at