Structural steel prices rise again in shock to industry

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Cast iron has nearly doubled in the last year as prices for steel rocket out of control the latest £50 a tonnes rise in January has left contractors and buyers fuming, this means that the price of steel has soared from around £500 a tonne this summer to over £700 a tonne.

The unprecedented rise in the price is also matched by the speed of the rise over the past year with many contracts seeing firms losing on already tendered projects. The raw material costs, quotas and scrap availability which some are blaming on the corna virus crisis and the economy which has also pushed rebar prices through the roof.

The recent rises since last year shown below 

Price per tonne increase  July +£30; August +£30; Nov +£40, Dec +£80; Jan +£50

Steel fabricators are really bearing the brunt of the increases with some jobs already in the pipeline with some telling nationaltradesmen.co.uk that they may as well “shut up shop”.

Chairman of Elland Steel and president of the British Constructional Steelwork Associaton Mark Denham, commented saying: “The step increase in the cost of steel is very high considering the volatile market structural steelwork fabricators are working under.

“The problem here is that the market rate for structural sections has been for far too long at a level that is unsustainable for steel mills to be viable.

“Equally, the market rate for fabricated structural steelwork is equally unsustainable in the long term when you consider part of the business is a bespoke design and detailing service, coupled with a semi-production type business, followed by unique sites requiring unique solutions.

“Budgets for many future contracts will be based on artificially low framing prices and the result is going to be delays in contract awards, further value-engineering exercises and someone in the supply chain is going to ultimately “catch a cold”.

“Ideally this will be equally shared out throughout the supply chain from the clients right down to the suppliers, but I’m not confident that this will happen.”