A report on the construction website Building suggests that Cemex, Breedon and Hanson are struggling to respond to the high demand for their products.
According to the article, Cemex has instituted a moratorium on new customers for “at least” the next four months and is restricting supply to its existing customers under an allocation system.
While Cemex declined to make a comment on the situation, Building reports being told by "an insider" that demand for bagged cement has “gone crazy” in the last two months.
The same unnamed person describes how builders are trying to by-pass merchants, who find themselves unable to restock fast enough: “We’re getting five to 10 calls a day asking for cement with every merchant wanting more than we can give them. The situation is going to have a big impact on contracts if it continues. The market is showing no signs of letting up.”
Building describes Breedon as being in a similar situation as Cemex, also turning down new customers. A spokesperson explained: “The cement industry is experiencing strong levels of demand. We are managing our supply accordingly and working hard to support the needs of our customers.”
Also according to Building, Hanson has had to similarly reduce allocations of bagged cement in response to unprecedented demand.
The report comes as various sections of the supply industry have rung alarm bells, warning of a shortage of biulding materials. Travis Perkins was the latest to do so in an article in The Times, picked-up by the BBC, forecasting price rises. The co-chairs of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group issued a statement on the subject last week, and the timber industry has also raised concerns.
Demand for construction materials is expected to remain high for at least the next six months, as countries around the world start to relaunch their economies.