As we near the culmination of our third UK lockdown, it is impossible to ignore the detrimental effects this past year has had on almost all businesses. And although 2021 may sow the seeds of emerging back into normality, it is looking to be a bumpy return for the woodworking industry.
We want to take the time to explain the many factors at play hitting the construction and housing industries on all fronts and contributing to our price increase.
Unfortunately the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) acted as a huge restraint on timber processing throughout 2020 as supply chains were disrupted due to the implementation of trade restrictions and national lockdowns imposed by local governments, resulting in some mills limiting shift work in order to comply with social distancing rules. Consumer demand for timber products in the UK remains staggering, leaving little opportunity for sawmillers to catch up and restock to the levels previously held prior to COVID-19, cases are sadly still surging in many countries around the world, including Sweden – the UK’s largest timber-supplying partner consistently taking well over 40% of the business.
The increase in cases has resulted in a tightening of operating conditions and interruptions where transport staff are required to self-isolate, adding to an already strained situation.
Although this could not be avoided, these disruptions have led to supply shortages and unfortunately price increases around the world – including Fishers Woodcrafts
“Here at Fishers Woodcrafts, we really hope that our customers can understand the difficult situation we have found ourselves in, we are putting our all into providing the volume of timber buildings in demand at a fair price. As we near the final stretch of this third national lockdown we must remember we are all in this together and we shall get through this together”
Price increases have been further spurred on by strong demand amid a boom in home remodelling and construction during lockdown, fuelled by home orders the stay-at-home lifestyle has encouraged homeowners to expand or remodel their existing surroundings. The onslaught of demand has handicapped producers’ abilities to restock inventories quickly enough to fulfil demand, additionally supporting price increase.
In addition, the USA (who are by far the world’s largest country and economy) saw a high-speed surge in demand which could not be maintained through their already established supply chains. Housing starts in the USA have reached an annualised figure of 1.6 million and are expected to continue to increase. Demand for timber has grown accordingly pushing prices to record levels with potential for further substantial increases. This has led to key suppliers of Europe diverting their stock to the USA.
Against January last year, Swedish redwood gained between 70-80% increase in price and we are sure that a peak has yet to be reached.
This mass increase in timber cost around the globe has unfortunately led to a sudden price increase at Fishers Woodcrafts, but as a company we are doing everything to ensure our operations are efficient as possible in order to keep our prices to you, our valued customers, as low as we can.
We hope you can continue to support a family run business and understand how these price increases are ultimately an industry wide issue that’s affecting everyone.