Timber Prices Continue to Rise
With the end of lockdown purportedly only three weeks away, following the setbacks of Coronavirus, the UK has been embarking on a journey of economic recovery. With many industries hit extremely hard by the pandemic, businesses are scrambling to climb back up the financial ladder. Not least of which is the construction and home-building industries.
Recently Wood Resources International produced data that shows overseas softwood lumber imports to the US rose in the initial ten months of 2020 by 39% this is compared to the same period in 2019.
A large amount of that timber came from Europe. Data showed that timber shipments to Germany and Sweden from markets throughout Europe, including Sweden and Germany, increased by more than 50%. Many of these same European markets also supply a significant amount of timber to the UK. Approximately 80% of the UK’s demand for wood products each year is met by several key trading partners in Europe. Suppliers such as Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, France provide enough supply with good quality woods at competitive prices.
Research performed by Wood Resources International does suggest that the US’s dependence on overseas lumber is predicted to continue for the coming year. This increase appears to be led by several factors. These factors include a rise in the growth of population coupled with a drive for decarbonisation and population growth.
It also predicts that an increasing amount of this demand will be met in the near and more distant future by European suppliers. This is partly due to regulations that call for a reduction in the “annual allowable cut”. This reduction in the allowable production quantities equates to a drop of almost 35% in five years. This wicked combination of increased demand and reduced supply means that more and more of the timber produced in Europe is destined to be shipped away from the UK.
The knock-on effect of this increase in exports means that the price of timber here in the UK is set to rise again over the next two financial quarters. It goes without saying that construction projects heavily reliant on wood, such as garden rooms, will see an increase in the cost of their product.
“Since June last year, we have endured monthly increases amounting to a 100% increase in 12 months. Thanks to Brexit, Covid the US/China House Building Markets, we face the most significant raw material price increase crisis we have ever experienced.”
While this perfect storm of reduced supply, increased demand and a rise in prices may be highly frustrating for those who work in the construction industries and their customers, it does create a rare chance for local suppliers. These domestic timber producers find themselves with the opportunity to fill the hole in the market while increasing their prices.
One tree which grows widely across the UK is the Sitka spruce. It has a reasonably long harvesting window of about 15 years. This extended harvesting time allows owners more time to haggle and get top money for their timber based on the market conditions.
If you’re thinking about buying a garden room or any other construction project which will require timber, then we definitely recommend getting your quotes secured before timber prices increase anymore.