Construction firms may wish to speak to UK steel suppliers as soon as possible in order to keep a cap on material costs in upcoming projects.

According to the latest figures from the Construction Products Association, 89% of firms surveyed in the first quarter of 2014 saw an increase in material costs.

This is a substantial increase from the 65% who said the same in the previous quarter, and is indicative of a steady increase in demand over the past year.

Construction activity overall was up in Q1 for the fourth consecutive quarter – the first time in six years that a complete year of growth has been recorded.

And as demand increases, supply comes under pressure, which may be responsible for the increase in material costs from suppliers of all types of construction product.

The availability of components like structural steel and universal steel beams is no exception to this rule of supply and demand.

As such, UK steel suppliers facing pressure on their stock levels may be forced to increase their prices – and placing orders early will be crucial to managing costs as construction activity continues to pick up in all segments.