There was little comfort for companies already suffering supply problems and long lead times this week after a forecast from industry leaders that things are very likely to get worse before they improve.

Amid reports of shortages and price hikes across all sectors, including doors where at least one composite supplier has shut down all sale of blanks, a statement from the Construction Leadership Council Product Availability Group says demand for all construction products both in the UK and globally is set to remain high throughout 2021, leading to worsening problems in every sector.

Plastics, steel, timber, roof tiles and imported screws and other hardware are among products in short supply

Imports of timber will be an issue for the foreseeable future, says the group, as not enough timber is being produced to meet world demand.

It continues: “Added to this, other countries are prepared to pay more to secure their supply, pushing the UK lower down the pecking order.

“Steel is also experiencing strong global demand. While supply and demand are likely rebalance within the next few months, global dynamics will continue to drive prices up.

“Raw material shortages constraining polymer supplies are causing production problems for plastics …Coatings manufacturers are also experiencing raw material shortages beyond their control, at a time when demand is particularly high.  These issues will continue for at least 2-3 months.

It concludes: “All users should plan for increased demand and longer delays, keep open lines of communication with their suppliers and order early for future projects.

“The CLC’s product availability group will continue to monitor the situation. The CPA and the BMF – who jointly chair the group – produce quarterly forecasts on market activity which is helping manufacturers to plan output.”