Fabricatedstructural steel is now at its lowest price since February, and is about 5%cheaper than a year ago, according to the latest bulletin of constructionmaterials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

In itslatest monthly update, BIS has published provisional figures for July andAugust 2012, putting the price of fabricated structural steel at 128.6 on anindex-linked basis, with a value of 100 representing its base price in 2005.

The price offabricated structural steel has now dropped for three consecutive months afterpeaking at 132.1 index points in May; but even that high point was less thanthe cost of the material a year ago.

During late2011, structural steel reached 134.8 in August before dropping in price in eachof the following five months.

The trendroughly matches changes in new housing activity, which also declined betweenAugust 2011 and the end of the year, and has fallen again from a more recentpeak in May 2012.

Forconstructors, however, it suggests that materials for construction should beavailable at a price that reflects the currently lower level of demand, helpingto support recovery in the building industry in the months to come.