RCI Article – Buoyant Builders’ Merchants Sales in November

Buoyant Builders’ Merchants sales in November

“Despite political uncertainty and turmoil, builders’ merchants’ sales in November were well up compared with last year and have increased in 11 of the last 12 months,” said John Newcomb, Managing Director BMF.

The latest Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report shows builders’ merchants’ sales to roofers, builders and contractors in November were 12.1% higher than in November 2015. They were still 7.0% up when adjusted for one additional trading day this year. Heavy Building Materials, which includes roofing materials, were 13.8% ahead, out-performing merchants generally. Workwear & Safetywear (+11.4%) and Timber and Joinery Products (+10.5%) were also strongly ahead.

November was 1.1% higher than October, although 3.5% lower when adjusted for a difference in trading days. Workwear & Safetywear was particularly strong (+20.1%).

Sales in the three months September to November were 5.3% higher than the same three months in 2015. Heavy Building Materials (the largest BMBI category) was 6.2% higher.

Compared with the previous three months (June to August), September to November sales were 0.2% down. Workwear & Safetywear was 13.3% up. Timber & Joinery Products, the second-largest category was 2.3% higher.

John Sinfield, MD Knauf Insulation and the BMBI Expert for Mineral Wool Insulation, commented: “Overall, market fundamentals remain positive in the merchant sector. Sales of mineral wool insulation products are also buoyant, driven by improved sales into RM&I and continued demand for new housing.

“In line with many materials, particularly petro-chemical based materials, insulation is experiencing input cost pressure following the decline in the value of sterling. This, coupled with some raw material supply problems, has led to long lead times for some foam insulants. The mineral wool insulation sector is therefore benefiting across all applications as merchants and distributors deal with these shortages and price increases.”

BMBI Experts speak exclusively for their markets, explaining trends, issues and opportunities in construction.

Share this article:


View All (307)


Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.