Timber supply tension in UK will ease over time

According to a market statement by the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) and Swedish Wood, supply tension in the United Kingdom’s (UK) timber market will ease as pandemic abates.

Partnering with Swedish Wood, who represents the largest exporters of structural softwood to the UK, the CTI is seeking to provide a complete picture from forest through to end users. The market report seeks to help generate a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between supply, demand and prices of timber in the UK.

Besides findings on timber supply, other key insights from the report include the rise of timber demand, with timber and joinery sales alone up 30.5% in Q1 2020 on Q1 2019, and construction output set to grow 12.9% in 2021; record amounts of softwood being imported into UK, with a 50.6% increase in 2020 and a 17.2% increase in 2019; and the significant projected growth for timber frame, where the outlook remains strong for both the market size and share.

Chief executive of Timber Trade Federation, David Hopkins, believed that although the demand for timber is outgrowing the supply, they will soon even out as the supply chains have been responding quickly: “Demand growing this quickly amidst a global pandemic has given little time to recover, or ramp up production, and this has been seen throughout the construction products industry. The response of the supply chain to meet this demand has been incredible, with the UK importing 50% more softwood between January and April 2021 as compared to last year. We are optimistic that the current extremes will abate in the not-too-distant future, and we will return to a more recognisable balance between demand and supply.”

Chair of CTI, Alex Goodfellow, also commented: “With this joint market statement we are firmly responding to any who would raise doubts about the value proposition of timber – which is here to stay. Timber is the only mainstream, renewable, and low-carbon building material, and it remains essential to the UK solving the housing, climate and biodiversity crises.”

Source: Timber Media Ltd