John Sinfield, Managing Director Knauf Insulation is BMBI’s Expert for Mineral Wool Insulation.
The first quarter of 2017 has certainly been interesting.
A Parliamentary vote on Brexit followed by formal notification of our intention to leave the EU, with the submission of Article 50 notice to the Commission. Then, to cap a tumultuous political month, we have a snap General Election to be held in June.
Opinion polls seem to point relentlessly to one outcome – but one thing I have learned over the last 12 months is that polls can be wrong. Very wrong in some cases!
Whatever the outcome, we will continue to offer the best and most authoritative advice on non-combustible, thermal and acoustic insulation.
Looking at sales levels, we have seen a continuation from Q4 2016. Demand for mineral wool insulation products has been strong throughout Q1, helping to boost sales volumes of both Glass and Rock Mineral Wool product ranges.
Comparing sales to the overall performance of the merchant sector, we can see that Glass Mineral Wool product sales are tracking slightly above the market, while Rock Mineral Wool sales are significantly outperforming the market with good double-digit growth over the same period last year.
The mineral wool sector is benefiting from the latest shortage of PIR, resulting from a scarcity of MDI, a key raw material. Merchants and distributors are speaking to their suppliers about alternative solutions to ensure that their customers don’t experience disruption.
Overall, it’s been a good year so far, with a decent short term outlook.