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Timber Shortages Likely To Worsen

20 April 2021

timber shortages set to worsen

With ongoing timber shortages and rising prices, the industry have been warned things are “set to get worse before they get better”.

Following the first lockdown in March 2020, disruptions to the supply chain were felt in many sectors. Now, over 12 months further on, global demand is continuing to outstrip supply on a massive scale, causing huge pressure on product availability and resulting in escalating prices for many products. Among many other products, timber is one such commodity facing severe shortages.

The Construction Leadership Council warned that “Demand for construction products remains high both in the UK and globally and is set to continue throughout 2021 in every sector.  Unfortunately, this means the availability issues we are currently experiencing are likely to worsen before they improve.”

“Not enough timber is being produced to meet world demand.”

Construction Leadership Council

“Imports of timber will be an issue for the foreseeable future. Not enough timber is being produced to meet world demand.  Added to this, other countries are prepared to pay more to secure their supply, pushing the UK lower down the pecking order.”

“Steel is also experiencing strong global demand. While supply and demand are likely rebalance within the next few months, global dynamics will continue to drive prices up.”

So what does this all mean for me?

When we boil this all down, the bottom line is “how does this affect me and what can I do about it?”. If you’re a contractor or trade user of our products, here are a couple of steps we would advise:

  • Talk to your customers: warn them of supply challenges and point out to them when quoting that prices of materials are often held for no longer than 2 weeks so may be subject to requoting if they delay making a decision
  • Work with your suppliers: be proactive and speak to your suppliers in advance to find out availability for upcoming jobs. Remember, for certain product lines such as imported panels, lead times of 14+ weeks have become ‘normal’!

For further reading, please see following links:

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/uk-facing-timber-shortage-well-into-2021

https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/product-shortages-set-to-get-worse

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