Farm Ireland

Thursday 26 April 2018

Farmers hit by surge in steel prices

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

Farmers carrying out building projects can expect to pay more as steel prices soar.

Prices for steel have gone up twice since the spring with further increases expected.

Prices for steel sections have jumped by 25pc to 35pc, while cladding prices have increased by 15pc to 20pc.

Powerlines are up by 20pc for the same period.

John Hanly, the head of agricultural sales at O'Dwyer Steel in Dundrum, Co Tipperary, said prices were mainly controlled by Indian mills.

The hikes are being blamed on increased demand for steel in China and Eastern Europe.

"There's a lot of inferior material being supplied into the market, and farmers should be careful and make sure they buy from a reputable company that can give them a guarantee," Mr Hanly warned.

He said some of the steel available on the market, though priced competitively, was "semi reject" material from the steel mills.

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Mr Hanly noted that building activity on farms wasn't anything like the investment seen two years ago. However, he said the recovery in dairy prices and fine weather had stimulated on-farm investments.

Irish Independent