Structuralsteel was among the building materials to show the largest fall in price inDecember 2012, according to new figures from the ONS.

In thelatest monthly report on building material prices, structural steel ranks asthe second-highest faller in price year-on-year.

At 3.4%lower than its December 2011 level, it ranks behind only concrete reinforcingbars, at 8.2%, as the products that now cost the greatest amount less than theydid 12 months ago.

However,while customers are benefiting from lower prices for fabricated structuralsteel elements, the market – both domestically and internationally – remainsstrong.

Structuralsteel units were the third-most exported material in the market during 2011,accounting for £473 million in trade.

Onlyelectrical wires (£572m) and paints and varnishes (£622m) ranked higher ininternational exports.

Conversely,structural steel was also a major factor in the import market, ranking secondwith purchases totalling £648 million.

Electricalwires were the most valuable import market to the UK in 2011, accounting for£1,347 million of sales.

But the datashows that, while the price of steel may have fallen in the past year, demandremains strong – making it even better value than in the years before.