Rising building and construction prices

increases of almost 40% for steel, 51% for aluminum and even 80%
for certain types of wood... In Belgium, four out of five companies are
affected by the wood shortage. Two thirds are experiencing delays of two
weeks, and one third at least one month.

prices are rising and lead times are getting longer. The
construction sector is struggling to keep up with post-covid demand. Behind this mess are the
delays accumulated during the crisis by many of the world's factories.

Increases of almost 40% for steel, 51% for
aluminum and even 80% for certain types of wood... In recent months,
raw material prices have continued to rise, bringing with them
cascading increases for all building materials.
PVC, paints and polyurethane foam are now
more expensive. "For some time now, even bricks and cement have been affected.
In the end, almost all products are recording medium to very substantial price rises
", sums up André De Groote, President of FEMA,
the French Federation of Building Materials Traders.


And at the end

finished products are suffering. "If the price of aluminum

your window frames too. As for the rising cost of wood..,

the price of pallets for transporting goods, and

transport. Finally, I recently met an entrepreneur who uses

small steel nails for fixing plasterboard. Boxes

used to cost 300 euros, but now it's 500 euros",

says Véronique Vanderbruggen, spokesperson for Confédération Construction.

An example from the field that illustrates a very international issue, which

comes from production plants here and there. In the wake of

the arrival of the virus, many of them were indeed shut down or

anticipated the urgent drop in demand. It took some time

time, and are now struggling to catch up. 

The virus also slowed down global shipping, with
ships stuck in dock around the world. Here again, the
pump had to be primed. Not to mention unexpected events,
such as the blockage of the busy Suez Canal last March. At the same time,
demand exploded. All over the world,
stimulus plans are mobilizing construction workers, as well as private individuals
who - having tasted the joys of confinement - are investing in their

The example of

And then there are the specific problems that each material
faces. Take wood, for example. The price of most types of wood rose sharply
at the end of 2020. "This is essentially due to strong demand from
the USA, where the construction sector increased production by 25% to
last autumn. And there, people build a lot of wood. The other problem,
again American, follows a decision by Donald Trump to tax
Canadian wood. As a result, Americans have turned to the European
market, accentuating the shortage here", laments François De Meersman,
secretary general of Confédération Bois.

For this material, prices remain high, but are falling
even in this month of July. "The situation seems to have improved at
USA in recent weeks. We could therefore return to a
slightly more normal situation, in terms of both prices and availability". And what about the rest? "For
insulating materials, an 11% increase has already been announced for September. Steel prices
are also likely to remain high, and may even rise again slightly into next year.
So it varies from product to product, and is very uncertain", replies André De

Source :
Journal Le Soir : Cecile danjou 06 08 2021


situation in the wood sector is complicated. Raw material prices
are skyrocketing and delivery times are getting longer. 80% of Belgian
companies active in the wood sector are affected by a shortage. A
situation mainly caused by one of Donald
Trump's last decisions when he was still President of the United States.

meet a contractor in Jodoigne at a house under construction.
The concrete blocks have already been bricked up, but the entire upper
part of the house is missing. " We're on hold and the
site is at a standstill because of this. As long as we don't have the materials, we can't
go ahead
", explains Raphaël Bertrand. explains Raphaël Bertrand.

We have to redo the estimate, so
we have to explain this to the customer.


works are not only at a standstill, but delays continue to lengthen.
The timber frame that was to be installed on the concrete blocks is
two months behind schedule. " The estimate we had drawn up, given
that the cost of wood has risen, we have to redo the estimate. So we have to
explain this to the customer so that he understands the situation.
Then, once
they've accepted the price change, we continue
". says
the manager of a joinery specializing in eco-construction.

nous, since last year, the timber industry has been struggling to keep up with the explosion in demand
. As a result, prices are rising sharply. " Here's an example: the price of OSB (panels made from
wood chips bonded under pressure with resin) has risen more or less
times four, i.e. 400%
". confides Raphaël Bertrand.


Prices have doubled at a timber merchant in Namur

visit a wood distributor in Namur. Fir, oak, OSB, wool from
wood or multiplex: prices are going up all the time. We meet a customer
who is taking advantage of the vacations to spruce up his terrace. " We know it's gone up. We know that it's getting more and more
complicated, and there you have it, not all the dimensions are there, but we adapt and we
make do with
what's there", says Pierre-Antoine.


Donald Trump's decision + rising demand = shortage and high prices

of the main explanations for this rise in prices is to be found on the
side of the United States. A tax decided at the end of Donald Trump's mandate hit
Canadian lumber. As a result, Americans are sourcing from
Europe, in the midst of a health crisis where demand was picking up strongly. " Mainly Scandinavian countries. They paid very
high prices, so the market became very high. What's more, demand also increased at
As a result, prices
have doubled
", explains Stéphane Scaillet, manager of the
wood store we visited.


Let's take the case of disaster victims.
Now that they have to rebuild, they have little choice but to
pay today's prices.


shortage has come at a very bad time for some individuals. The recent floods
have not helped matters. " I'm worried about
the middle class, who are going to find it hard to afford this kind of thing. Take
the case of the flood victims. They
have little choice but to pay today's prices, and today's prices
are very high at the
moment". says Stéphane Scaillet.

Belgium, four out of five companies are affected by this shortage of
materials. Two-thirds are experiencing delays of two weeks, and one-third are experiencing
delays of at least one month.

Source: RTL Mathieu Langer, Denis Caudron, published August 08, 2021 at 2:53 pm





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