The crisis has hiked prices from around £1,000 a tonne to £1,400 a tonne in a matter of days. And now some steelwork firms have raised the alarm that supplies are drying up with many steel mills no longer taking orders.
Shortages are arising because both Russia and Ukraine produce steel billets, used as raw feedstock for European mills.
A source said: “Everybody is locking down their supply chains to maintain throughput into the Summer months and then hope to go again from there.”
Another steelwork contractor told the Enquirer: “We have received nothing formal, as we do from British Steel, however within three days the rate on plate increased £300 per tonne with some suppliers refusing to quote.
“We have been fortunate with our suppliers and secured plate to service our existing orders.”
The director also warned that steel sections could be the next to see suffer big price jumps.
“We have also received information that main steel sections are to increase another £200 a tonne, however we have received nothing formal to date.
“We have agreed rates for all of our current orders, hopefully they will honour them.”
Another said: “At the moment things are still stable. A lot of clients bought early because of last year’s price volatility so a lot of bridge work is in the fabrication yards.
“We had hopes of a brighter 2022, seeing some stability with material prices. We have a strong order book already for the new financial year, now we face more increases and potential shortages.”