Product manufacturers hit in weather-affected Q1

Published:  09 April, 2013

The Construction Products Association’s latest State of Trade Survey indicates that sales of construction products fell during the first three months of 2013 with poor weather exacerbating conditions for the industry.

Commenting on the figures, Construction Products Association economist Milja Keijonen said: “The poor weather in January and March certainly had an adverse affect on sales in Q1. Sales of heavyside products fell for the fourth consecutive quarter with 39 percent of firms reporting a fall in sales. Despite seeing a rise in lightside sales in Q4, volumes were once again lower both on a quarterly basis and compared to a year ago.

“It is not all doom and gloom however, as both heavy and lightside manufacturers anticipate a catch-up in sales in Q2 as improving weather conditions kick-start infrastructure and housing projects. Furthermore, a growth in sales is expected over the next 12 months. In addition, export sales continued to grow in Q1, with 15 percent of heavyside and 21 percent of lightside manufacturers reporting increased export volumes compared to Q4. Overall, 2013 is likely to be a challenging year for the industry but there are areas of optimism among the dark clouds.”

Other key points include:

  • Lightside sales volumes contracted both year-on-year and on a quarterly basis, on balance
  • Heavyside markets remained depressed with sales falling both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, according to 39 percent of firms, on balance
  • Both heavy and lightside product manufacturers anticipate a recovery in sales in Q2, on balance
  • Export sales continued to grow in Q1. On balance, 21 percent of lightside and 15 percent of heavyside firms reported higher export sales on a quarterly basis
  • Low demand is expected to hinder sales growth in 2013 but raw material prices were also cited as a likely constraint by a small group of firms.

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