Homegrown hardwood timber on the up

7 January 2019

Grown in Britain’s latest pricing data for UK grown hardwood is showing across the board value increases for 2018.

News of the price growth has been welcomed by Forestry Commission chairman Sir Harry Studholme as “fantastic news” for woodland owners.

“Higher prices justify and encourage woodland management, and this management supports future production of this beautiful raw material,” he said.

“More than this, well-managed woodlands help plants and wildlife to flourish and store carbon to help tackle climate change. Grown in Britain are doing an exceptional job to develop the market for hardwood timber and realise these benefits.”

The pricing data shows UK grown oak sawn timber rose 30% in price in 2018, with strong demand being experienced. Sawn oak is in strong demand due to the weak pound, China buying up French oak and weaker import availability. Prices for millable round oak are also high.

Oak reached record prices at the November hardwood auction in Cirencester. Meanwhile, sweet chestnut log prices are up 15-20% and beech logs up by 5-10%, the latter partly due to export business.

Ash and oak firewood prices are up around 20-30% and 10-15% respectively. Harvesting rates are rising on an average of 10%.

“Buyers may wince at steadily rising prices such as these we have recorded in our latest pricing tables but demand across the world is set to steadily rise and rise and so increases should be passed up the supply chain as it is an amazing substance and should be valued accordingly,” said Dougal Driver, chief executive of Grown in Britain.

Mr Driver said by continuing to encourage woodland owners to relook at their woodlands and forests to see the value of the timber they are growing, this will continue to drive up the supply and demand for British hardwood timber.

For more on GiB’s pricing data visit here

English oak. Photo: Vastern Timber