The supply and availability of timber and fencing products within the UK has been severely affected by the disruption caused by Covid-19.
During the initial lockdown in March, timber shipments to the UK drastically reduced, and UK producers either temporarily closed or switched production to essential products such as pallet material for the food industry.
Conversely, the UK experienced record-breaking demand for these products due to the aftermath of Storm Dennis in February, and the DIY frenzy that occurred during the lockdown. The result was that demand significantly outstripped supply. This led to merchants stock being depleted rapidly, followed by a lack of supply to backfill these items.
The lack of imports continues, and the UK producers alone can only meet around 40% of the UK’s timber requirements, meaning it will take many months before supply catches up with demand. The result of this is merchants frequently without stock of certain products, and very long lead times on others. We expect it will be well into next year before some balance is restored, depending on what happens elsewhere in the world that effects the UK’s timber supply.
What are we doing to help?
As a manufacturer and processor with extensive re-sawing facilities, we are in a unique position to maintain supply to you compared to most other merchants, albeit with longer lead times than normal. In addition to working closely with our usual suppliers, we have sourced an additional supply of UK grown sustainable FSC Certified softwood that we are cutting on-site to the fencing and timber sizes needed for your projects. This will go a long way towards filling the shortfall that others are experiencing.
Unfortunately, other products we can not manufacture such as concrete fence posts and garden buildings are also experiencing significant backlogs and long lead times as a result.
If your project is time-sensitive it’s best to check current lead times either with us or your installer before ordering. Stock items are still being delivered quickly, but others could take several weeks.