The plasterboard supply debacle that has hindered the building industry and caused needless delays is slowly dissipating, signalling good news for Kiwi builders and consumers.
As reported by Nicholas Pointon in RNZ this week, “The plasterboard shortage has eased considerably amid greater supply and slowing demand.
“Fletcher Building, which has a near monopoly on the plasterboard market with its GIB Board branded product, came under intense scrutiny from investors, the construction industry and even the government, due to widespread shortages of the basic building material in June.
“Supply of the plasterboard became stretched following a surge in demand from the residential construction sector, resulting in months long delays to get product for builders.
“Fletchers said in June it expected the market would return to ‘equilibrium’ by October after it announced a raft of moves which it said would lift supply by 10 percent.
“Christchurch-based Co-operative Building Supplies chairman Carl Taylor said since then, supply had improved a ‘fair bit’ but it was not back to levels seen pre-Covid.
“‘Although you might rock on down to your merchant [it would] be very unlikely that you would see GIB Board on the shelves. But if you are ordering a house-lot, it appears it’s back to normal ordering levels.’
“He said lead times for orders had reduced from about six to seven months earlier in the year to about a month.
“Supply had also been helped by distributors importing more product from overseas as well, he said.
“Leading building firm Naylor Love’s chief executive Rick Herd, who was a member of the ministerial taskforce set up to address the shortage, said demand had also eased.
“‘Yes, Fletchers has upped their game a little bit in regard to production, but there had also been a bit of downturn in market demand, which I think has been very helpful.’
“He said imports of substitute products had been helpful, but it had not been a game changer.
“Another building supplier spoken to RNZ told a similar story.”
Read the full article here