News & Events

BWF Trade Survey Q4 2017: Investment in products improvement grows despite rising raw material costs

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has issued its Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2017. The consultation indicates that investment in product improvement and customer research is growing despite rising raw material costs and slowing sales growth.

BWF Policy and Communications Executive Matt Mahony commented: “Sales are still growing at a reasonable rate and there are no indications of a sudden decline for the British woodworking industry despite the pessimism around construction from some quarters. Slightly fewer order books extending beyond three months and consecutive quarters of lowered sales growth expectations conceal the reality which is that our members have been selling products and adapting to the higher costs that have now unfortunately become the new norm.

“More than two-thirds of respondents noted that Brexit-related uncertainty has already affected their business, with two-thirds of those identifying the impact as being increased raw material costs. If we look to the longer term however, manufacturers are unsure as to what the effects of Brexit might be.

“On the plus side, it’s hugely encouraging to see joinery manufacturers taking a proactive approach to growing their market. Investment in e-business is set to increase by half and customer research is anticipated to double. More than two-thirds of members will be investing more in product improvement.

“With the innovation and initiative of our members reflected in the survey results, there are plenty of reasons why wood should be the material of the choice for 2018 and beyond. The irreparable damage of plastic pollution is never far from the news, with programmes such as Blue Planet 2 capturing the public imagination and the Wood Window Alliance’s Fake Facts campaign shining a spotlight on the PVC-u industry’s ‘plastic promises’. We will be building on existing resources to support members of all sizes in showcasing their products as beautiful and sustainable and illustrating the benefits to specifiers of building it with wood.”

 

Key points from the BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2017 include:

  • A balance of 33% of respondents reported an increase in sales volumes over the last quarter, with 41% reporting an increase over the last year. This corresponds with the 44% of respondents reporting a quarterly increase in the previous survey.
  • 68% of respondents felt that Brexit-related uncertainty had affected their business so far with 67% of those noting that the cost of raw materials was where it had impacted.
  • A balance of 32% felt that Brexit negotiations would have a negative impact on their business in the next 12 months.
  • When asked about the impact of Brexit over 5 years, respondents were split between whether it would be positive or negative (25% for each) with 40% unsure of the implications and 10% expecting no impact.
  • Manufacturers felt that sales volumes would improve in the next quarter, with a balance of 34% predicting an increase for Q1 2018, and a balance of 30% predicting an increase over the next year.
  • 19% of companies reported a current order book of future work extending beyond 3 months – down 7% from the previous quarter - with 53% saying that their order book extended to between 1 and 3 months.
  • Demand was listed as the most likely constraint on output over the next year by 37% of respondents. Labour availability and Capacity came next, with 24% and 20% of respondents feeling that they were most likely to constrain output.
  • 32% of respondents on balance reported increasing their labour force in the previous year, with 44% of respondents anticipating an increased labour force over the next year.
  • Raw material costs were noted as a major inflationary factor for unit costs for 95% of respondents on balance, with wages/salaries increases pushing up unit costs for 67% of respondents on balance.
  • Over the previous year a balance of 59% of respondents had invested in improving their products with 45% investing in their manufacturing equipment.
  • Investment in product improvement was set for the highest capital investment over the next year, with a balance of 67% planning to invest and with 48% set to invest in equipment

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-trade-survey-q4-2017-investment-product-improvement-grows-despite-rising-raw-material]

CTI responds to Government's Clean Growth Strategy remarking the contribution of Timber Industry to low-carbon economy

The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) has recently produced a brief response to the Clean Growth Strategy policy paper released by the UK Government last Autumn.

The CTI's response highlights the benefits that the UK Timber Industry can bring to a new, long-lasting, low-carbon economy model.

In fact, Timber has an established supply chain with huge potential for rapid growth, helping the UK meet employment, economic and housing targets, whilst also delivering against low-carbon and climate change objectives:

  • Timber is one of the safest and cheapest forms of carbon capture and storage available
  • The UK timber industry employs 150,000 people in the manufacturing and supply chain and an additional 200,000 UK construction jobs (and a third of construction apprenticeships) are in wood related trades
  • The forestry and timber industry is a key part of our environmental and industrial heritage and a vital part of our low-carbon future
  • Timber products have the lowest embodied carbon of any mainstream building material
  • Timber product manufacturing has significant potential to reduce the Emissions Intensity Ratio (EIR)

The response - freely downloadable here - is structured in 6 key areas providing useful data and insights on relevant themes such as timber in costruction, forestry, carbon storage, production processes and so on.

For any comments or suggestions, please send an email to info@cti-timber.org

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-responds-governments-clean-growth-strategy-remarking-contribution-timber-industry-low]

NEPCon's Sourcing Legal Timber 2.0 Conference | 15 March 2018 | Woking

On Thursday 15th March, NEPCon will hold a conference entitled 'Sourcing Legal Timber 2.0' at the The Living Planet Centre, Woking, Surrey.

"It’s been almost five years since the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into force and things are looking quite different to how they did then. Enforcement authorities are stepping up their game all over Europe, a lot of new information and tools are available from all kinds of sources and FLEGT licensed timber is now available on the market," explain the organisers.

"Nonetheless, living up to the EUTR requirements is still a challenge for companies across Europe. Therefore NEPCon would like to offer the industry, authorities as well as other stakeholders the opportunity to participate in a free international conference on 15th of March near London."

The event is designed to shed light on a wide set of key issues in the Timber Trade Industry such as:

  • avoid common due diligence pitfalls
  • gain access to insights on key risks and how to deal with them
  • understand how the enforcement authorities evaluate your performance
  • understand how conducting quality due diligence makes good business sense
  • communicate about FLEGT-licensed timber
  • promote companies' compliance
  • gain an overview of the vast jungle of free info and tools available and how to use them
  • plan for future sourcing
  • understand how technological advances in timber traceability and verification can help improve the efficiency and credibility of due diligence systems
  • connect and exchange experiences with timber-related companies, trade associations, technical experts and relevant organisations from across Europe

To register for the event, complete the online form here.

For any queries, you can contact Ann Weddle on aw@nepcon.org or +44 7491 812337.

View the event on CTI Industry Calendar.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/nepcons-sourcing-legal-timber-20-conference-15-march-2018-woking]

TTJ Editor Sally Spencer awarded Woodland Hero 2017

Grown in Britain has presented its annual Woodland Hero award to Sally Spencer, Contributing Editor on Timber Trades Journal (TTJ), at a gathering in London.

Throughout her time on Timber Trades Journal (TTJ), the business magazine for the timber trading and timber-using sectors, Sally has taken an interest in British-grown timber.

Frequently writing lead articles and interviews for TTJ’s annual British timber features, Sally has become well-known across Grown in Britain’s constituency of British timber growers, producers and distributors.

Presenting Sally Spencer with her award at a gathering kindly hosted at Timber Trades Journal’s London offices, Grown in Britain CEO Dougal Driver said: “Sally very much deserves our 2017 Woodland Hero award. Her consistent coverage of British timber in a market dominated by imports has kept the faith on home-grown wood. Her reporting of developments in processing have also helped to underline the quality of today’s British timber.”

Steve Cook, chairman of Grown in Britain, added: “The Grown in Britain Woodland Hero award is given to people whose contribution, whether in public or behind the scenes, have benefitted wood that is Grown in Britain. Sally’s professional journalistic scrutiny of home-grown timber, and her enthusiasm for its coverage, have been of great benefit to British-grown wood.”

Accepting the award, TTJ’s Sally Spencer said: “I’ve developed good relationships and interviewed many key players in the British timber sector over time. As investment in the industry, and its share of the market, have grown, it has more than justified its place in TTJ. I enjoy following its progress and engaging with its people, and I’m honoured to receive this award from Grown in Britain.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/ttj-editor-sally-spencer-awarded-woodland-hero-2017]

CTI Blog - Offsite timber construction has a major role to play in tackling UK Housing Crisis

This blog post is by Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA) and Member of the CTI Board of Directors.

 

Through discussion, debate and demonstration, the Government appears to have made the connection between construction and manufacturing and we have foreseen great potentialities within the ‘Industrial Strategy’ for offsite construction to play a significant part in delivering more homes to meet the shortfall in housing stock.

The Confederation of Timber Industries and the STA firmly believe that offsite timber construction is a great opportunity to reach the specified target of one million homes by 2020. With four out of five new homes in Scotland built using structural timber together with much of the housing volume in Canada, the US and Europe – we know that offsite timber solutions deliver.

In the main it will address many Government concerns associated with public procurement of housing including speed of build, environmental impact, lifetime energy efficiency and cost performance. These factors are not only of benefit to Government plans but to the wider construction industry. Cost savings, speed of build, faster return on capital outlay, reduction in waste, improved health and safety - are just some of the benefits of offsite timber construction. Add to this the unrivalled capacity and availability of materials within a robust supply chain combined with a sector that is quick to respond and it’s a clear choice.

Innovation in the structural timber product range has broadened the appeal, driven by intelligent and integrated construction solutions. We can demonstrate how easy, practical and efficiently projects can be completed, having a direct impact on transforming communities, while conveying the dynamic and fast-moving pace of the sector and the excitement that can be engendered when delivering innovative construction methods. 

UK manufacturers of structural timber components have a major role to play. We are geared for capacity, have the skills and materials to respond quickly and the experience to create a world-class offsite manufacturing sector in the UK. Current capacity is typically run on a single day shift only, making increases in output by multi-shifting relatively easy to do. Assuming full year outputs the sector can deliver around 150,000 units in 2020/2021, up from around 80,000 in 2017/2018.

I’ve never known such unified agreement that offsite construction is the solution - there is acceptance at pretty much every Government level, national, regional and local, that offsite is what is needed. The time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative offsite timber technology and develop better buildings at a rapid rate to meet Government targets, to overcome the shortfall in housing stock, while delivering energy efficient buildings in a cost-effective quality manner.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-blog-offsite-timber-construction-has-major-role-play]

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