TIMCON, the Timber Packaging & Pallet Confederation, says the severe storms and floods that have affected the UK this winter are likely to result in increased demand for timber, diverting already tight supplies away from the sector.
According to the industry body, availability of timber is already “undergoing a squeeze” as demand from the construction sector has increased, thanks to government financing incentives and the beginnings of a recovery in the UK economy.
TIMCON general secretary Stuart Hex says: “We are anticipating much stronger demand than usual for fencing and construction timber.
This will potentially have further impact on the availability of timber to the pallets and packaging industry and as well as other sectors.”
Hex says that increased imports of pallet timber will erode the dominant market share enjoyed by the UK sawmills of 70%-80% of the UK pallet market, and he expects to see “upward pressure on price”.
However Hex adds: “Although there are short-term issues, UK pallet and packaging manufacturers have shown in the past their flexibility and resilience in maintaining supplies to their customers of their products, which as we know are critical to the UK supply chain.”