The triple hit of SSI, Caparo Industries and Tata has rocked the UK steel industry over the past weeks and has been a devastating blow for all the employees and families affected by the job losses.
Raising the issues that affect steel production is really important to ensure that we can retain a strong steel industry in the UK; but, the volume of negative press doesn’t provide the whole story.
You could be forgiven for thinking that we will shortly see stalled projects across the UK with partly completed steel structures driven by a lack of available steel.
This is not the case.
We purchase the vast majority of our steel from the UK but one of the major challenges for the UK steel industry is that there is global overcapacity in steel making. This means there will be no supply constraints for UK structural steelwork contractors.
Around 35 per cent of steel for the construction industry is sourced from the UK. This wide availability of products acts as a market regulator which continues to make steel a very cost effective material choice at the moment.
It is also worth noting that UK produced steel sections, the main type of steel used in the construction industry, has not been affected by any of the announcements.
The demand for structural steel is increasing in response to the UK’s growing construction industry.
The advantages of speed and certainty of delivery continue to make steel an attractive choice.
We are sitting on a robust order book and a promising pipeline of future projects.
We do not foresee any capacity constraints that could impact on our ability to provide the construction industry with the on time delivery and service levels, which our reputation is built on.
We absolutely support calls for a level playing field for UK steelmaking as a UK supply of high quality steel creates a competitive and efficient market, which in turn supports the UK economy.
However, it is also wrong to paint the picture that all aspects of constructional steelwork are affected equally by these issues.
The construction industry can rest assured that the current issues surrounding some elements of UK steel making will not affect the ability of structural steelwork contractors, such as us, to deliver current and future orders.