News – GB – The building boom is not over yet

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A global surge in home improvement and home improvement is driving demand for construction products and could still have a long way to go

This is the question facing construction product groups BlueScope Steel and Reliance Worldwide, which saw strong earnings growth on Monday thanks to a global housing boom that started in the renovation and remodeling market and is now moving to the construction of new homes listed

Just 10 months ago, when the first wave of COVID-19 hit and blocked much of the world, many construction companies were preparing for the worst

New Zealand’s Fletcher Building announced that already tepid Australian housing permits would drop 15 percent and lay off 1,500 workers, including 500 in Australia, while Reliance, which manufactures plumbing supplies, saved money by delaying some longer-term capital-building programs

Heath Sharp, CEO of Reliance, said Monday from his home base in the US city of Atlanta that demand in the US market rose 20 percent almost overnight in March 2020 as cocooning consumers had plumbing problems fixed and improved their homes would suddenly have to spend more time in

In the UK, demand for lockdown fell but the end of the first wave saw an increase in pent-up demand due to late repairs and then a new wave of demand due to renovation work that has continued Plumbers and construction workers have gone through the current lockdown

Australia has experienced the same conditions, with the added fold of strong demand for new homes thanks to the incentives for building from federal and state governments

Reliance reported underlying earnings up 56 percent to $ 993 million for the December half-year, with US earnings up 49 percent, Europeans 22 percent, and Australians 31 percent

BlueScope saw Australian steel product profits jump 156 percent as steel shipments in Australia reached their highest level in 11 years – and Australia still had an auto industry that used a lot of steel

BlueScope boss Mark Vassella is cautious about looking too far ahead, but sees good momentum in a shift in customer preferences towards individual homes and living in regional areas

“Most of our customers, our builders, tell us that they will have strong order books by the 2021 calendar So it will be interesting to see where this ends, “he says

Sharp doesn’t see a slowdown either, yet, and while things may change once international travel resumes, a new normal of working more at home should mean renovations and repairs hold up as plumbing becomes more common / p>

Senex Energy expects long-term gas prices on the east coast to be between $ 7 and $ 9, defeating manufacturers’ hopes for a gas revitalization

BP and ExxonMobil’s decision to close their Australian refineries is making it harder to keep the Lytton refinery open, says Matt Halliday, CEO of Ampol

Fearing the highly contagious new varieties first identified in the UK and South Africa, both Germany and Belgium introduced new border restrictions last week, adding to the measures already being taken by other countries

The legal team of Brendan McAssey, founder of Only About Children, says he owes $ 32 million in cash and $ 6 million in stocks in the worst case, a court heard

Tata BlueScope Steel, share price, ASX: BSL, ASX, Mark R Vassella, Port Kembla

News – GB – The construction boom is not yet over
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Source: https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/the-building-boom-is-not-done-yet-20210222-p574nn