Why has the cost of timber increased by so much?
The Timber Market
Due to the coronavirus outbreak the timber mills closed across the world as the various countries introduced lockdowns. Sweden is the UK’s largest timber supplying partner, with over 40% of UK timber imports, when they went in to lockdown, along with Lithuania and Latvia the UK had a massive gap in the supply chain.
Gradually the various countries are returning to limited production with shift working and social distancing rules decreasing their efficiency. The cutting, milling and treating processes have all slowed down which means that stocks have run down.
At the same time the stock was depleted there was an increase in demand as homeowners in “Lockdown” spurred a strong demand with home remodelling and construction. The situation was made worse with America increasing its homebuilding programme, they pushed prices higher and key suppliers in Europe diverted stocks to the USA.
In an effort to prevent having empty shelves the timber merchants in the UK have been paying whatever it takes to keep stock on their shelves – this means that the timber prices are at least 112% higher than a year ago – and there is still a very strong belief that these prices will continue to rise, and an expectation that prices in the market will be realigned and they won’t drop!