This report attempts to quantify by value, the construction market for mechanical fasteners. Within our definition the construction market includes new build in residential and non-residential applications, civil engineering works – e.g. bridges, tunnels – and RMI (including DIY). Mechanical fasteners are broadly split between threaded products (screws, nuts and bolts) and non-threaded, e.g. nails, tacks and staples. In the UK it is estimated that by value, construction accounts for some 15 -18% of mechanical fastener demand. However, the size of the sector may vary depending on the definition.
The market is mature with the result that annual growth rates are typically quite low. The other main factor keeping rates down is that the vast majority of standard products, used on building and RMI works are made up of low-cost imports. The market for mechanical fasteners in construction applications has grown by an estimated 5% during 2014, higher than in previous years. Underpinning growth has been improvements in housebuilding and other construction output and also some increases in the global prices for commodities such as steel.
Specific areas of growth in demand for mechanical fasteners have been infrastructure works, especially tunnels and bridges /gantries and in particular the Thameslink and Crossrail programmes, external wall insulation on social housing RMI projects, curtain wall and rainscreen cladding on medium-high rise office developments and steel building envelope systems on warehousing developments, driven by the growth in online retailing.
Conditions for mechanical fasteners are expected to continue to improve in 2015 and with the continuation of the Crossrail project and the planned HS2 programme, demand for added-value high tensile fasteners should remain strong. Other likely areas of demand growth include housebuilding, online distribution warehousing, utilities improvement programmes, medium-high rise office new build and the leisure sector. However, recovery is likely to be slow, limited by public sector spending cuts and dependent on growth in orders across the construction industry, and growth from 2016 onwards is likely to be more modest at 3-4% per annum.