Steel, copper, iron, wood: domino effect of price increases. Now it is construction that is asking for help from the government. Buia (Reeds): “Construction sites at risk of stop”

As in a domino, the effect of generalized price increases of raw materials falls from one sector to another. The last of many alarms comes from the construction world withAnce (association of builders) who sends his sos to the government. “After six months of continuous and very strong price increases, the sector is at the end of it”, explains a President Gabriele Buia. “These are cost increases that go well beyond the business risk and the entire supply chain is at risk, if no action is taken, the construction sites will begin to close “. The problem, explains the president of the manufacturers, is not just that of prices. For some materials there are starting to be difficulties in finding. “Delivery times for supplies are all jumped “ and for the builders this also adds the risk of penalties in the time frame for carrying out the works. The Ance highlights, among others, the rise in the 150% for round steel for reinforced concrete; 129% for polyethylene or 30% for copper.

The phenomenon is not only Italian but global. The commodity price index developed by Bloomberg is back on values ​​that they haven’t seen each other since 2015 and most importantly, it did very quickly. A year ago it languished around 65 points, today it is close to 95, an increase of nearly 50%. The recovery of the global economy and the need to replenish stocks, which had been drawn on in the months of the toughest lockdowns, are driving prices. The closing months have suggested to companies not to “pull” too much on the “just in time” system, zero stocks and supplies that arrive exactly when they are needed. Something in stock better keep it. China is once again that kind of drainage pump that sucks everything up. In addition, the substantial investments in renewable energies they induce to stock up on all materials that have to do with implants photovoltaic, electric batteries etc. Finally given the price trend speculation began to blow on the fire. There are strong increases in copper (the metal most closely linked to the trend of the Chinese economy) and steel, but also in palladio (+ 41% in one year) o of silver (+ 63%). And again, the prices of the wood have quadrupled in one year. Oil costs twice as much as a year ago and the price increases for crude oil. The prices of oil also drag those of gas, plastics and insulators upwards or bitumen, whose price has risen by 16% in recent months. The expensive crude oil also pushes the costs of the “substitutes” with which biofuel is produced and therefore more (+ 107%) or sugar cane (+ 47%).

“Today companies work below cost and it is therefore necessary to adopt exceptional, concrete and immediate measures – similar to those adopted in 2008 by the then Minister of Infrastructure Altiero Matteoli – that they can avoid the blockade of hundreds of construction sites both public and private, also putting at risk the works of the Recovery Plan and the interventions of the Superbonus 110% ”, explains Ance. In particular, the reference is to a mechanism whereby in the event of material cost increases exceeding 8%, the customer compensates the manufacturer. If, on the other hand, the opposite happens and prices drop by more than 8%, it is the manufacturer who lowers the cost. Gabriele Buia is said disappointed due to the lack of a provision of this kind in support decree bis. “We have been reporting the emergency to the government for some time and in particular we have done so in the last month as prices rose by another 15%. I hope that the government will intervene as soon as possible, with the next decree. Businesses are starting to close, there is no more time “

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