There is a real threat to the supply of glass to the Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) industry. Some suppliers have found availability of some types of glass is limited or has been delivered late.
The price of glass is also a real issue not only for the suppliers but for customers wishing to buy glass products from them. Manufacturers will inevitably have to pass on their costs to their customers and this is a tricky situation for any industry.
What is the cause of the glass shortage?
Europe is going through a strong construction phase but at the same time key float lines have been closed down. Float lines are where sheets of glass are made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal which gives the sheet uniform thickness and a very flat surface. In the UK, very little glass is produced for own use, mainly because the larger firms have scaled back their production. As a result, we have to import a lot of glass from Europe which is adding demand to a dwindling supply.
In recent reports suggestion has been made that the shortage has been engineered to justify price increases. However, when there is a demand for a product that is short in supply, whether it’s deliberate or not, price is a genuine problem. It’s also been mooted that the IGU sector has kept prices artificially low in recent years. As prices rise therefore, those who have sold on price only, will now have no room to move. So, lack of supply and price may well see some of these companies closing because they cannot survive in such a market.
For the larger glass producers, the UK is not a very profitable market. Poor exchange rates and a slowed GDP (Growth Domestic Product) along with growth of European construction means they can make the commercial decision to actively focus on supplying glass to Europe and beyond. In other words, they can pick and choose who they supply to because glass is becoming a very valuable commodity.
For some the outcome could be very serious. If there is no glass to create their product, installation companies will have to source it elsewhere and pay the higher cost which could break them. However, if like Sunrock there is a strong and loyal business to business relationship between them then this provides a more positive outlook.
Plan don’t panic
This situation has been brewing for some time, but panic and speculation can have a detrimental effect on it too. So, it’s all about planning. Sunrock will ensure that stock is secured and allocated for orders already placed. For those customers who have had a quote we will honour all it for 60 days from its date. However, if you would like to proceed with a Sunrock order, we suggest you place it as soon as possible to lock in current prices. We can then ensure the components are reserved as well as maintaining the price.
If your quote has expired, please contact us
Here at Sunrock Balconies our dedicated team of experts can help and advise you on all aspects of your project. Our aim is to help add function, style, and appeal to your home so get in touch, we’d be happy to answer any questions or discuss a project you have in mind.