Industry News

Timber and joinery products drive positive trend for UK builders merchants' sales

The latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3% compared to Q2 2016.

The actual Q2 year on year sales figure (for 61 days trading compared to 63 in 2016) is still positive at +1.9%. Year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, a period with the same number of trading days.

Significantly, value growth year on year for the first half of 2017 was driven by the major categories of Timber and Joinery (+4.6% – particularly Cladding and Stairs and Stair Parts) and Heavy Building Materials (+4.1% – primarily Lintels, Roofing Products and Bricks and Blocks). In the picture here you can see the development of timber and joinery products' sales.

Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet and BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products, commented: "Our view in Quarter 1 was that the market for Timber and Panel Products looked promising and that we should be optimistic for the year. In reality the second quarter has been more challenging than expected." 

"The run up to the election and the surprise result created uncertainty and confusion - and political uncertainty, whether domestic or foreign, continues to influence trade and impact our markets. At best we can say quarter two’s performance was flat. The market for hardwood timber though is stable with no major supply issues."

"European oak remains popular and with the traditional summer closing of the mills, the supply chain will slow and there could be a short term impact on stocks during August and September. The OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sector is still difficult and is feeling the effects of shortages as demand continues to outstrip supply."

"Prices remain volatile and continue to rise. Additional production capacity will ease the situation as we enter 2018. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) supply chain shortages eased slightly in Quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter but product availability has stayed on allocation which in turn leads to continued pricing pressure."

"The well-publicised and tragic fire at Grenfell Tower has shaken our industry and raised concern over building regulations and standards. Various timber and panel products are fire treated and the increased demand is impacting on the lead time for treated products. Merchants are encouraged to check availability well in advance of requirements. In summary, we had a bumpy second quarter and the outlook for the next three months is modest."

The complete BMBI report can be downloaded here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-and-joinery-products-drive-positive-trend-uk-builders-merchants-sales]

Republic of Congo joins PEFC as a national member

The Republic of Congo has joined the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) as a national member.

Since 2011, PEFC has been engaged in a number of initiatives to promote uptake of forest certification in Africa, with a particular focus on Central Africa.

Working under the common name PAFC – Pan-African Forest Certification, there are now three PEFC members in the region: PAFC Cameroon, PAFC Congo and PAFC Gabon.

“The forests in the Congo Basin are home to more than 10,000 species. They provide food, water and shelter to more than 75 million people, and are of significant economic importance,” commented Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“With PAFC-Congo becoming a member of PEFC and their work on developing a national forest certification system, we are taking a huge step towards safeguarding the benefits the forests in the region provide. We are thrilled to welcome PAFC-Congo into the PEFC alliance.”

“We have been working in the Congo Basin for several years, and the addition of the Republic of Congo marks an important move forward for the development of certification in the basin,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.

Mr. Brice Séverin Pongui, Chairman of PAFC-Congo, added: “There have been strong evolutions in the way forests are managed in the Republic of Congo, but certification is struggling to develop and become widespread.”

“PAFC is set to help promote sustainable forest management, making it more accessible and inclusive, thanks to its development respecting the local context.”

“With its careful balance of the environmental, social and economic benefits forests provide to the local forest owners and communities as well as society at large, we are convinced that PEFC certification is the right choice for our country.”

Further info can be found here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/republic-congo-joins-pefc-national-member]

Wood Window Alliance takes on the challenge of 'timber lookalike' PVC-u windows

The Wood Window Alliance (WWA) has recently launched an informative campaign to warn against the use of PVC-u 'timber-lookalike' windows.

"These products flatter timber windows by mimicking their construction, detailing and finish," the Wood Window Alliance underlines. "Moreover, many of the claims made for these windows on the internet and in marketing materials are misleading, although they are presented as 'facts'."

In this context, the WWA has produced a series of infographics and fact sheets to dispel some myths surrounding "plastic promises from the PVC-u industry"

The Campaign includes an analysis of the performance of PVCu vs wood windows in relation to environmental impact, fire resistance, toxic legacy, maintenance and durability.

"The Wood Window Alliance has done considerable work over the past few years to ensure we make our claims consistent, clear and honest," said WWA Chairman Tony Pell. "Having reviewed the available data and latest research, we have decided to challenge the worst of these misleading so-called ‘facts’. Following this, you will find a list of ‘fake facts’ and misleading statements that are being presented by individual companies, and even the industry body of the PVC-u industry, as true."

"Whilst PVCu frames might seem cheaper, wood frames are the better investment for long-term value, even taking maintenance into account, because of their longer life and low impact on the environment".

The Wood Window Alliance is a group of over 20 leading names in the UK wood window market. Launched in 2007, it aims to raise standards and promote the benefits of modern wood and aluminium-clad wood windows and doors. 

Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wood-windows-alliance-takes-challenge-timber-lookalike-pvc-u-windows]

Forest Enterprise England stats show substantial increase in timber incomes

Forest Enterprise England - the independent executive agency sponsored by the Forestry Commission to manage the nation’s forest estate - has released its production statistics from the 2016/2017 harvesting programme.

The data - summarised in the infographics here and contained in the Organisation's annual report - show standing sales vs direct production and the markets for the direct production.

Simon Hodgson, Forest Enterprise Chief Executive commented: “This has been our best year ever for timber income raising £38.9 million and meeting our published commitment by despatching 1.428 million cubic metres overbark standing. This is a credit to our marketing and sales team and the Forest Districts."

“We have had two significant boosts this year: modernising our e-sales system; and a very successful hardwood timber auction that saw record prices paid for our high quality sawlogs. The increased income was also undoubtedly supported by the lower value of sterling.

“Although the first updated e-sales went well, our July e-sales did suffer from a technical glitch and I apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this may have caused."

“Offering a high standard, professional service to our timber customers and achieving the best price for our product remain key to improving our bottom line.”

Forest Enterprise England has also launched an online survey - available here - to gather feedback from its timber customers on the service provided. 

The online consultation is anonymous and will remain open until Thursday 31st August. Participants who wish to leave their email address could win a £50 Amazon voucher.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/forestry-enterprise-england-stats-show-substantial-increase-timber-incomes]

UK Packaging recycling targets: 94% of required wood recycled so far

According to the latest figures published on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD), the UK is on course to reach 2017 recycling targets for packaging materials.

Significantly, 94 per cent of the required wood (213,578 tonnes) has already been recycled so far this year.

Other products derived from wood and fiber such as paper and cardboard scored well too. Q1 and Q2 summed results show that some 1.8 million tonnes of paper have been recycled, fulfilling around 73 per cent of the required 2.5 million tonnes.

Regarding other packaging materials, glass (52 per cent) and plastic (54 per cent) have made the least progress towards the targets.

As reported by Letsrecycle.com, "in particular, the performance of paper and plastic have been under the spotlight, due to reported difficulties in exporting some mixed grades due to a crackdown on material quality in China."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/uk-packaging-recycling-targets-94-required-wood-recycled-so-far]

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