Following the release of the Builders Merchant Building Index for Q4 2021, Gordon Parnell, Sales Director at British Gypsum, and also The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) expert for drylining systems, provided his viewpoint on the market.

During Q4 we continued to see the ongoing challenges of high prices and low availability of materials, however supply is improving. At the height of the pandemic last year, availability of materials proved to be an ongoing problem for the industry, so during the second quarter, we introduced an allocation system to make sure that the products that we had available were evenly distributed. We worked closely with suppliers to try and ease the situation and ensure we could meet the demands of customers. Supply and demand improved considerably towards the end of 2021. We had a better balance in Q4, and this enabled us to start 2022 with an end to our product allocation system. What we have experienced in terms of supply and demand in Q4 was mirrored in a statement from the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Product Availability Working Group, which shared a more positive position on the supply of materials. In January, the co-chairs of the CLC’s Product Availability Working Group issued a joint statement updating the industry on the product shortages that have plagued supply in the last 12 months. Seasonal reduction in demand, it said, coupled with a gradual improvement in supply meant that there were relatively good stocks and availability on most products going into 2022. For the most part this is true, however, there are still delays on the supply of some raw materials for drylining because of lengthened lead times. The drylining industry’s costs are also impacted by the ongoing and rapid rise in energy inflation. We are continuing to experience strong levels of demand for our high-performance drylining solutions and to help meet this, we have implemented a number of capacity improvement projects. Collaboration across the whole supply chain continues to be critical. Looking forward, British Gypsum echoes the closing statement made by the CLC group – that working closely and collaboratively across the supply chain will be the best way to manage challenges that arise in the year ahead. Source: