Calm in the storm – the wild years of the steel construction business
The last few years have been exceptionally extraordinary times in the world and equally so in the steel construction industry. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine have caused a major storm in the market. I thought I would use this blog to share my views on the recent turbulence in the market.
The top three things that come up are:
- Material prices and changes in them
- Uncertainty in the market
- Changes in the market
Relentless price increases
Steel prices have been on quite a rise during the last two years. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has radically affected the prices. We could not have predicted these things, and we cannot very well influence them from Finland.
The risen costs indirectly affect the completion of construction projects and starting new ones. The prices of, for example, timber and construction supplies have also risen, which is reflected in the profitability of construction as a whole.
At the moment, the market is slowly moving in a slightly more normal direction. Uncertainties in the market will disappear once material prices start going down. This will reduce the number of threat scenarios and accelerate planning and starting new construction projects.
Constantly greener production
The market is also undergoing changes on a more permanent level. Responsibility requirements as well as opportunities are constantly growing. For my part, I have noticed how significant the requirements for responsible operations are, especially in Sweden. An example of this is the EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) certificate, which is widely used in Sweden.
Of course, we use the same criteria in everything we do, so, for example, in the Finnish and Baltic markets, we are at a higher level in our operations than the requirements. It is always better to be a little ahead than a little behind in this.
Equally in steel construction, digitalisation is constantly on the rise. In our case, digital development is a key strategic choice we are constantly developing for the benefit of our customers. One example of this is 3D modelling. When construction companies need it, they will receive 3D models of our beams for their construction project, as part of the project’s overall plan.
Despite the turmoil in the world in the past few years, life goes on. We have gone from one crisis to the next one, but we have survived them all. The most important thing is to stay optimistic. Let us go onwards together!
Area Manager (Baltic countries and Sweden)
+358 44 481 1877
Ville Forsby is an industrial engineer and Anstar’s Area Manager. Ville has over 20 years of experience in the procurement and sales of steel structures in both Finland and Sweden. Ville’s vision and experience on both sides of the table helps us understand our customers and their needs.