Opportunities emerging in the timber market in Yorkshire due to wider market disruption

Softwoods

After the uncertainty caused by the storms in North-East England and the east of Scotland at the start of the year together with the outbreak of war in Ukraine there are now positive developments.

The war in Ukraine and subsequent trade tariffs have caused major disruption to the supply of many timber products, this together with rapidly escalating energy costs have made many major timber processors look to secure increased volumes closer to home.

There has been a shortage of timber offered to the market in England and Wales which has seen standing softwood prices in the Midlands and up into Yorkshire move back up to the record highs seen in 2018 and early 2021.

This has been driven by buyers from East Anglia, south England and the Welsh Borders looking further afield for timber.

Once the windblow in the north is cleared, it is anticipated that demand will increase further in the second half of the year as the buyers from the North come back into Yorkshire.

Hardwoods

Due to reduced contractor availability in the region and less timber being offered to the market there is emerging pressure on availability of firewood for winter 2022. Soaring energy prices have increased demand for both domestic firewood and commercial biomass however, supply has not yet picked up to meet demand.

Demand for oak sawlogs is exceptional and there are positive signs in the previously depressed markets for beech, ash, and sycamore.

Getting Approval

The Forestry Commission are working hard to increase the approval time for felling licences and are recruiting extra staff so they can deal with increased applications so in theory it should be possible to get felling approval in 3 to 6 months.

Summary

Market conditions are improving and those with timber to fell should be looking now to get approvals and permissions in place for marketing in the second half of the year. For further information on getting approval for felling, marketing and management of timber sales please contact Oliver Combe on 07771 958975 or oliver.combe@stephenson.co.uk

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