AWMS comment: Q3 2017

The market for metal rainwater was up around 7% in value in quarter three, compared to the previous quarter, boosted by price inflation from rising raw material costs and exchange rates that never recovered from the announcement of Brexit. The increase is also driven by the growing demand for colour, and for metal products and the flexibility of metal systems to deliver bespoke designs.

We’re seeing a surge in enquiries and orders for aluminium fascia and soffits, new colours like Anthracite grey to match the colour of windows are particularly popular. Homeowners appear increasingly interested in colour and how it enhances the exterior look of their home

The steel rainwater market is growing particularly in social housing and new build as local authorities and developers realise the benefits in performance, colour choice, durability and long trouble-free life of metal solutions compared with plastic. And with the cost of steel similar to plastic, it makes little difference to the overall cost of the project.

In civil and drainage, the market is down about 3% from ongoing delays in large infrastructure projects. Orders have slowed, and competition is increasing as manufacturers fight over a smaller pool of work. This isn’t just in the UK. We’ve seen a slowdown globally, which affects exports. On the upside, above and below ground metal drainage is becoming the material of choice for fire performance. Following Grenfell, specifiers are looking for better performing products that meet stringent fire standards with cost becoming less of a restricting factor.

The cast iron manholes covers and gratings anti-dumping issue continues for manufacturers importing from China or India. However, there may be good news about the EU levy. It’s expected to be reduced from around 35% to 25%. It’s an unnecessary and unfair cost at a challenging time, and a reduction would make a significant difference

Many of us look at statistics and gloomy comments in the media, which feeds concerns and creates caution. It’s too soon to know how this will affect public spending or RMI, but it’s not all bad as some markets like metal rainwater uncover new growth opportunities. We strive to make this continue!

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