Sales by Britain’s builders’ merchants in December 2020 were 8.8% higher than in December 2019, with timber and joinery sales significantly up on last year, according to the latest Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) report. Total sales over the fourth quarter were also higher than in Q4 2019.


Total builders merchants value sales in Q4 2020 increased by 5.4% compared to Q4 2019. Landscaping (+22.9%) continued to perform well, with timber and joinery the second strongest category, increasing 12.7% on Q4 2019. Well documented stock shortages was a key driver for Q4 growth in timber sales.


Total value sales in Q4 2020 were down on the previous quarter (July-September) by 10.8%, the result of a seasonal slowdown, another lockdown and five fewer trading days in Q4. Timber and joinery sales were down 6% over the same period.


Sales across all categories were down substantially in December compared to November, for similar reasons. However, on a year-on-year basis, timber and joinery products were up 20.3%.


The BMBI index for Q4 2020 was 111.1, with timber and joinery products (125.4) the highest category.