That was the warning from the constructional steelwork sector, after manufacturer Corus informed fabricators last week it would raise the price of steel sections by ВЈ25-a-tonne from 4 October.
Steel plate will also rise, by ВЈ30- to ВЈ40-a-tonne. Strip products will increase by ВЈ30- to ВЈ50-a-tonne.
вЂњWe are seeing more robust demand for our product range, including sections and plate," said Martin Maley, Corus commercial director for long products.
"Demand has been improving from low levels, particularly in the US and Asia, though the rate of recovery in the UK and Europe is expected to be slower. We also believe destocking is nearing its end in many product areas.вЂќADVERTISEMENT
The price of structural steel has collapsed over the last year, with Billington managing director Steve Fareham estimating it to be half the level of summer 2008, when the market peaked.
"The price appears to have bottomed out now, with stockholders completing their destocking, and now Corus announcing an increase," he said.
"Steelmakers are seeking to increase their prices as they perceive an increase in demand returning," said British Constructional Steelwork Association director general Dr Derek Tordoff.
"Margins are extremely tight and wherever possible steelwork contractors will need to pass on any increases.
"However we will not be returning to the monthly steel price increases seen at times during 2006/7/8 and prices will be much more stable."
"You can expect material prices to start to rise soon, because construction materials producers cannot continue to trade at marginal cost," a construction analyst said.
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