Why The Rising Cost Of Timber Could Affect Our Prices

With Brexit and Covid amongst the many things on our plate in 2020, it’s fair to say it wasn’t the greatest year ever.

It wasn’t great for the timber industry either.

Various factors came into play which means that global stocks of wood have decreased – and prices have increased.

That’s not ideal for us.

With the cost of timber increasing, Garden Buildings Direct will have to react accordingly.

This means that we’re going to have to increase our own prices very soon.

Currently, we can’t put a date on when we expect this to be. But our advice is to buy while prices are still low – as everything from our playhouses to our log cabins will inevitably be hit with a new price tag over the next few months.

There are a multitude of reasons why prices are soaring. All of them have contributed in their own small ways – but it means that added together, it’s seen the cost of timber shoot up over the past year.

We’ve explained in more detail below as to why this has happened:

Sweden

Sweden is the UK’s number one timber supplier. Due to our lack of suitable trees in the U.K, we rely on trading timber with Sweden and recently, it hasn’t gone to plan.

Outbreaks of Covid-19 in factories there have meant that delivery drivers and warehouse workers have had to self-isolate. This means that output of wood has dwindled compared to usual figures.

Brexit has also hindered the process. It’s made it harder to get the wood from one place to another, as more forms need to be signed, more checks need to be done and more planning needs to take place, before the timber can be shipped across. This has caused a bottleneck in supply, and has increased prices, as demand continues to rise.

Shipping

The cost of manning ships and actually getting wood to our country continues to rise, and poses a problem. If we had enough suitable trees here, we could make it work without external help. But with our timber coming from abroad, the ever-increasing inflation rates mean that we have to adjust our prices accordingly.

Log Size

Countries that export their wood to us are gradually changing the size of the logs they supply. This poses a problem for us, as we need wood that is made for the log cabins we produce. If production of the wood we need is reduced, there’s going to be more competition for that wood between the companies who need it. This, in turn, drives up prices.

China

China’s massive economy means that they could have a near-monopoly over world timber supplies, if they wanted.

In 2011, over 50% of the world’s timber was being imported by China.

In 2021, that figure is likely to be even higher. With China buying out stocks of timber at alarming rates, it means there’s less left for the rest of the world – not least the U.K.

They’re also willing to pay more for it too – meaning that even if we want it, we can’t necessarily get it.

Mild winter

As odd as it may sound, Scandinavian countries like Sweden rely on their ground being frozen to allow their vehicles to access timber for felling.

When the winter months are mild, as theirs was between November and January, the ground that is usually ice turns to slush and mud, making it impossible for tractors and tree harvesting vehicles to get there over the muddy terrain.

This leads to reduced wood supplies, and subsequently, higher prices.

Our recommendation

For now, we have the capability and resources to keep our prices as they are. For a while they’ll be locked, but not long after, they’ll go up.

In order to avoid disappointment, we advise buying now before the prices rise.

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