These are unusual times! The massive increase in demand for construction materials has put real pressure on our suppliers but keeping our customers working is our most important objective. Our central procurement teams and branches have been very busy looking for new sources of product and moving stock around the group to ensure customers around the country can get access to what they need.
Prices from our suppliers have increased significantly on many timber lines but we have tried to absorb as much of this as possible to ensure the prices we offer remain competitive. There are still certain lines where supply is restricted and we have been working hard to find alternatives.
This places a huge importance on forward planning and communicating with us about your requirements. Making sure orders are being placed well ahead of time, planning for any potential cost increases will help us provide you with the products and solutions you require to complete projects in a timely manner.
Please contact your local timber specialists to discuss your requirements.
So, what’s happening in the Timber Market?
- The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) latest statistics show the volume of imported timber is at its highest since 2007, the total volume of imports totals 6 million m³ in the first six months of 2021.
- With the shortage of HGV drivers, while imports of structural softwood are very high, supply chain is facing great difficulty in moving these import volumes away from the ports through to merchants, manufacturers and building contractors.
- The prices we are currently seeing are far outside the bounds of normal levels over the last 13 years. According to the latest data provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the price at the mill of imported sawn or planed timber is now more than 120% more expensive than it was in July 2020 with imported plywood up 82% over the past year.
- Global timber demand looks strong in all major economies as timber is now at the forefront of sustainability in modern methods of construction. There is however little additional volume expected to come to market globally over the coming years, meaning it’s likely that these new higher levels of pricing for timber products will be sustained over the coming years.
- The growth of the repair, maintenance, and improvement (RMI) sector will provide a continued boost for the timber market in the next two months, with 59% of Tradesmen reporting a higher workload than Q1 2021, and 70% reporting more enquiries. However, a balancing factor in the easing of lockdown restrictions and regrowth of international holiday travel may reign back the significant spending we have seen previously.
- As tensions between supply and demand resolves, experts predict that (whilst not a new issue) labour will be the most pressing issues faced by the construction sector, with 53% of builders reporting that they are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners, and 47% struggling to hire bricklayers.
If you want to know more, have any questions or would like to discuss materials for your next project, please talk to us, we’d love to hear from you!