Timber shortages continue to affect the UK pallet market.

The demand for pallet timber is continuing to outstrip supply, meaning the rising prices that we have seen over the last few months are showing no signs of changing.

Sawmills are not able to guarantee supply for periods longer than 8 -12 weeks and with prices changing on a weekly basis, the stability of the timber market is ever changing.

Sources say the building trade is set to expand again next year. As this industry has already swallowed up a large proportion of the available timber in the UK this year, it would appear that the shortages will continue into 2014. As ever, increased demand will inevitably lead to increased costs.

TIMCON (The Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation) has also reported on the situation, stating that there is “significant evidence of a sustained increase in timber prices and shortages in supply for its sector”. In an article, the General Secretary of TIMCON explains that sawmills are reluctant to cut timber to non-standard sizes to be used in the pallet industry as the construction sector are paying higher prices. Likewise, fencing material is highly sought after, so timber for the pallet industry is not a priority for some sawmills.

Coupled with the growing building industry, is the need for cheaper biomass. Government subsidies encouraged power companies to look for alternative, cheaper sources of fuel back in 2011, so power companies turned to burning wood. This has had an adverse effect on the used pallet market, as many power companies are paying high prices to ensure supply for biomass. Good pallets are now being destroyed, therefore reducing the overall pool of used pallets in the UK market.

This timber situation is not solely affecting the UK market – in China the demand for wood is expected to rise by 50% by 2015. Whirlowdale are doing everything we can to ensure customers have pallets when requested, but the current pallet market dictates this is not always possible. Where we can, we will always offer an alternative pallet and are doing everything we can to secure additional supplies. Please visit our website for alternative products – plastic pallets, cardboard pallets, collars etc.

As always, Whirlowdale appreciate your continued support throughout this difficult time.

 

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