Last reviewed 24 May 2022

The Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Product Availability Group (PAG) has issued its latest statement regarding the supply of construction products.

While there is a good supply of most products and materials, it has highlighted ongoing challenges which continue to affect bricks, aircrete blocks, concrete products, PIR insulation products and gas boilers — all of which are on long lead times.

Most wood products, including structural timber, are fully stocked.

There should be no problems with structural softwood, but the availability of some other product groups, whose use is concentrated in the joinery, shopfitting and finishing sectors rather than housing, is less certain given their greater reliance on raw material supplies from Russia and Belarus.

The most critical is Birch Plywood, which will become increasing scarce as summer progresses as outside of Russia there is only limited production from Europe, principally Finland.

Even if the UK market is offered Birch Plywood later in the year from the Far East, it will be based on Russian Birch logs and will be illegal to import.

The PAG notes that, although Siberian Larch cladding will disappear from the market eventually, there are plenty of alternative cladding sources. Similarly, there are alternatives to Russian redwood and whitewood used principally in joinery and shopfitting, although these are generally more expensive.

“With further restrictions on Russian gas and oil imports across Europe, we expect that energy price movements will continue to be unpredictable,” the PAG said. “Some merchants and producers have also reported impacts on the availability of products caused by the outbreak of Covid in China and the restrictions imposed in response to this, which is affecting manufacturing and shipping from Shanghai.”