A joint statement from John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders’ Merchant Federation (BMF) and Peter Caplehorn, CEO of the Construction Products Association (CPA) who are co-chairs of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group covered in the Builders’ Merchants News on 21st February presents an improving picture in the availability of construction products along with reduced price volatility.
In the hoses and accessories market, we are seeing similar encouraging signs. Whilst things are very different to the pre-pandemic market conditions, there have been some noticeable improvements in recent months.
Product availability from overseas is now more reliable than in the last 2-3 years and the difficulties in finding shipping capacity have eased. Shipping costs have reduced from the highs of 2021 but the drop in the pound to dollar exchange rate of 10% – 15% over the same time period has adversely impacted both imported product costs and international shipping costs.
Closer to home, increases in fuel prices have flowed through to an increase in carriage costs; energy costs have impacted on office, warehousing and retail premises costs; and a double-digit inflation rate that we haven’t seen since the 1980s are driving up the cost of doing business throughout the supply chain.
Feedback from our reseller customers also suggests that they and their end-user customers are seeing a more stable picture emerging in their businesses.
Overall, then there are reasons to be more cautiously optimistic than since the end of 2019. However, the improvement feels quite fragile. Val Gardner, Managing Director of Winster explains “When I look at the supply and demand situation, it has definitely improved with less volatility than in recent years. Costs also seem to be more settled, which is good news for the whole supply chain. However, there is some way to go before we return to the conditions pre-2020 and with the turbulence in the energy markets and the war in Ukraine, it would not take much to destabilise this position. We certainly can’t afford to be complacent.”
Winster provide a range of strong selling unbranded hoses and accessories, tailored to match the customer profile of our resellers. For more information on what we offer and how it could benefit your business, visit our product pages, explore our many customisation options or call us on 01902 606010.