Raising the issues that affect steel production is really important to ensure we can retain a strong steel industry in the UK.
However, 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. This is not the case.
Steel supply secure
Severfield is the UK’s largest structural steel contractor and we do not envisage having any supply issues of steel on our projects.
“There will be no supply constraints on UK structural steelwork contractors”
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 – have not been affected by any of the announcements.
“The advantages of speed and certainty of delivery continue to make steel an attractive choice”
The demand for structural steel is increasing in response to industry growth. Order books are robust and pipelines of future projects look promising.
Level playing field
We do not foresee any capacity constraints that could affect our ability to provide the industry with on-time delivery.
We absolutely support calls for a level playing field for this country’s steel producers, 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 elements of UK steel-making will not affect the ability of structural steelwork contractors to deliver current and future orders.
Ian Lawson is chief executive of Severfield