Timber Prices Surged By 23%

The price of some imported timber has jumped 23 per cent in just one month, reports the AJ’s sister title Construction News.

The price of imported sawn or planed wood jumped by more than a fifth between June and July, according to the latest data provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The material is now more than 64 per cent more expensive than it was in July 2020.

Imported plywood was nearly 12 per cent more expensive in July than it was in June and up 82 per cent over the past year.

Timber Trade Federation (TTF) chief executive David Hopkins said: ‘Both private housing and repair, maintenance and improvement need a lot of softwood, and these are the two sectors that, together with infrastructure, have led demand within a resurgent construction industry. At the same time, supply tightened in July, as sawmills and wood production facilities in Sweden and other European countries closed for essential summer maintenance.’

Timber has consistently been one of the materials facing the most severe shortages and price hikes. In August architects spoke out about how the ‘perfect storm’ of the Covid crisis, Brexit hurdles and surging construction activity had combined to create a ‘huge’ timber shortage, which was in turn impacting on projects.

Last month, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) also warned timber was among a group of materials including steel, cement, and roofing products which were still being constrained by supply issues.

Overall material prices were up 20.1 per cent higher in July compared to 12 months ago and had jumped 4.5 per cent since June.

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