Last month we saw record supplies purchased for the construction industry, with wholesalers and construction companies placing orders through us looking to reduce material costs to maintain profit margins. We also had a record number of new enquires from this industry sector with companies asking us to resource products for them.
So what are the best deals and the most sought after products? Steel and timber have always been a good buy from China but we have seen a particular interest over the last quarter in manufactured timber products including MDF, plywood and finished products such as doors and windows. Recent rises in the pound has made purchasing these items even more attractive.
In the steel sector we have seen the best margins in ironmongery products including specialist screws and bolts where large savings can be made compared to European suppliers and in machinery and tools. We have seen a steady rise in the quality of production as our suppliers invest in new machinery and production techniques although this is not universal and one needs to undertake extensive research and due diligence to get the right products. Buying inferior (and of course cheaper) products is, in our view, very unwise leading to unhappy customers and a fall in sales over the longer term.
As with all trade with China the key is to know your supplier well or use and agent you trust to do this for you.