The construction industry has come through the pandemic well so far, but is now threatened with raw material shortages.
Steel, sheet metal and insulation material are becoming scarce and, in some cases, doubling in price.
Wood is available, but around 25 percent more expensive.
District - Rudolf Waxenberger, district master craftsman and owner of the construction company Anzinger in Erding, sounds the alarm.
The most critical situation is with petroleum-based insulation materials.
Specifically, it is about so-called XPS panels, i.e. insulation panels for exterior basement walls, but also for sealing and thermal insulation under the floor slab.
"The delivery times here are two months and more, the price has doubled," complains Waxenberger and adds: "You can't start building a house without these panels." He has never seen anything like it himself.
Waxenberger attributes the whole evil to the "artificially produced shortage in the industry in the relevant areas", which wants to determine prices through artificial shortages.
Georg Lippacher, head master of the Erding carpenters' guild, also blames the industry for the misery, but rather suspects negligence. “The industry did not calculate correctly. At the beginning of the Corona crisis, she assumed an economic downturn, put the workers on short-time work and then slept through the winter, maybe even gambled a bit. ”During this time, the warehouses would normally be replenished.
Deliveries were already delayed in January and February.
The prices have exploded.
“Nobody would have thought that it would be so dramatic.” He is already ordering insulation materials that Lippacher will need in his carpentry shop in Ottenhofen in three months.
Usually he has around 14 days lead time.
He builds individual wooden houses, which is why he was only able to take precautions to a limited extent.
"I can't shop randomly, in the end I get stuck on it."
For the time being, the all-clear is given by Rosmarie Neumeier-Korn, spokeswoman for Robert Decker GmbH from Dorfen.
At Holzbau Gaigl, a subsidiary in Forstern, material bottlenecks have been counteracted well through good preliminary planning and early ordering.
Urs Ickler, operations manager of the other subsidiary Timber Homes, explains: "For the standardized commercial modules, we can order the load-bearing timber construction elements such as floor, ceiling, wall elements and building beech frames well in advance." improvised over and over again during production. "
Another problem for the carpenters is the supply of wood. The main concern here is the price. The sawmill representatives would assure him that there was enough wood available, but it was being exported to China and the USA. China is happy about a robust economy, Canada has broken away as the main supplier of wood for the USA because the bark beetle is raging there. Russia would have enough existence, could dominate the market, but had logistical problems. The increased demand is driving the price up by around 25 percent.
“It is simply not true that wood is too expensive,” says Rainer Mehringer, on the other hand. It was only finally getting the justified price. Mehringer has been chairman of the 1600 member forest owners association in the district for 15 years. For the first time he experienced a price increase in April. The high demand is urgently needed, after all, the forest farmers have to convert their forests in a climate-friendly manner and reforest them with valuable hardwood. “That is important, but expensive. That is why we need a reasonable price for our wood. "
According to the forest expert, the increased demand is also due to the increased internal construction activity during the pandemic.
Because travel and other leisure activities are canceled, citizens invested in their own homes.
Wooden houses are climate-friendly and are therefore on the rise.
Due to high natural gas and heating oil prices, more firewood is in demand again.
Mehringer assures: "There is no shortage."
Robert Henn, Managing Director of Horst Heiss Stahlbau GmbH from Berglern, currently has to spend a good 1000 euros instead of the previously usual 500 euros for the ton of steel.
In addition, steel is currently in short supply.
In the first lockdown, industry was also in it.
"Starting up a blast furnace like this takes time," says Henn.
The auto industry is also picking up speed again, which would buy the sheet metal away.
Colleagues are in great need.
Heiss Stahlbau primarily needs steel.
The warehouse is still full, but he can only speculate how things will continue and how he should go shopping.
“Nobody knows when the journey up is over.” But he is confident: “I believe that the magic will disappear as quickly as it came.
We already had a similar need that lasted for a few months. "
Neumeier Korn from Decker says: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been repeated bottlenecks.
We got all orders confirmed until June.
For the third quarter it will be exciting to see if it stays that way. "
Master carpenter Lippacher complains about “twice as much work in the office as usual” because research has to be done to find out at what price and where wood can be obtained.
But the order books are still full and all the carpenters on the construction site.
Waxenberger, on the other hand, heard from colleagues in the carpentry trade that despite the good order situation, short-time work could not be ruled out.
He calls for action by politicians: “Export restrictions would be appropriate.” Only when the domestic companies have been supplied should they be sold abroad.