Materials Roundtable Panel Discussion

Materials Roundtable Panel Discussion

Materials Roundtable Panel Discussion

On 20 April BVAA hosted a webinar roundtable on the subject on everyone in industry’s lips - ‘materials’!

Led by BVAA stalwart Adam Bradley, the session featured contributions from co-panellists Bob Simpson (Maher), Mark Burton (Broder Metals) and Rodney Rice (Langley Alloys) with 45 BVAA members and guests participating.
 
The last such session was 10 years ago, at the BVAA Conference, when the industry thought we had a materials ‘crisis,’ which seems laughable in light of the current happenings in the market.  Readers may recall that Nickel prices recently rocketed to over $100k per m/t resulting in the temporary closure of nickel trading on the London Metal Exchange, where - today at least - it is more calmly trading at about one-third of that enormous figure.
 
The panel explored causes of the many shortages and scarcity of product, the role played by a limited number of approved mills, and the impacts this had on the stockists and subsequently their customers. It was noted that there had already been a trend to significant increases in costs for cobalt, molybdenum, even scrap steel, before Covid & Brexit, which itself caused an initial dramatic downturn, then swift upturn, in demand. Added to that were a number of new factors including the war in Ukraine, floods in South Africa, the introduction of fuel and alloy surcharges and the like. The consequences were exceptionally long lead-times of up to 18 months for product, coupled with huge volatility in both price and availability, making it almost impossible to stock product without running a significant financial risk.
 
Wider issues such as the impact of Brexit and UKCA Marking, 3.2 material certs, etc., were also discussed. Perhaps the most critical spin-out was the unanimous advice of the panel for customers to engage in direct i.e. voice dialogue with their suppliers. Stockists were at the coalface of the continual developments with materials and were best-placed to find workable solutions for their customers.
 
Could your sector of the valve supply chain also benefit from a roundtable webinar? Contact rob@bvaa.org.uk to discuss.


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