The Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) report, published in October, shows builders’ merchants’ sales to builders and contractors continuing to recover in August, but at a slower pace compared to the previous two months.
Total Builders Merchants value sales in August were 3.9% behind August 2019. However, daily sales were 0.9% above last year’s level when adjusted for the difference in trading days. Three categories did better, with Landscaping (+16.3%) the top performer.
Total sales were up 73.8% in June to August compared with the previous three months (March to May), when many merchants had closed branches as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. Six categories did better over this period, led by Tools (+124.1%).
Total Merchants sales were 14.2% lower in August compared to July, which had three more trading days. All categories sold less.
August’s BMBI index was 113.3. Landscaping (157.2) was strongest, followed by Timber & Joinery Products (120.6).
Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director Polypipe Civils and BMBI’s Expert for Civils & Green Infrastructure comments: “Since the end of June, all civils and green urbanisation sectors have seen an upturn in sales volumes. Residential-related business has seen the strongest return, having been amongst the hardest hit. Other sectors such as land drainage were consistently solid throughout the pandemic and remain so. Planning and specification activity have continued relatively unaffected. Within civils, the recent changes to the codes governing adoptable sewers have opened the market. Plastic is now specifically referenced as a material option for all applications. This long-awaited change will see the benefits of lightweight, environmentally compatible pipelines transform the market.
“Looking at Green Urbanisation, the community value of access to green spaces and the size of those spaces are increasingly in the spotlight. More people want to experience natural environments more frequently, but this causes frustrations and threatens the health of the ecosystem. Re-imagining how we introduce green assets into the urban landscape eases the pressure. Parklets and pop-up spaces are gaining traction with versatile and sustainable green solutions offering all the benefits of green urbanisation in a stand-alone package.
“With green urbanisation extending SuDS into new product areas and deeper into the city landscape, we’re seeing an increasing number of enquiries with this wider perspective. Drainage is becoming a solution driven market lead by changing legislation and planning policy focusing on net zero carbon and biodiversity gains.”