Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet, BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products talks through the latest data from the Builders Merchant Building Index.
The latest data from the BMBI has demonstrated that builders’ merchants’ sales to builders and contractors were up 3.7% in June 2017 compared with the same month last year. Additionally, the sales in the second quarter were 1.9% ahead of the same three months in 2016.
Ironmongery and Kitchens & Bathrooms were both up 4.9% in addition to being the best performing categories. Q2 average sales per day for merchants generally were 5.3% higher and the first half of 2017 saw a 3.8% rise on the first half of 2016.
The Q2 results report actual sales representing overall construction output fell by -1.3% in the three months to June compared with Q1, and rose by just +0.4% on the same period last year.
Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet, BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products comments: “Our view in Quarter 1 was that the market for Timber and Panel Products looked promising and that we should be optimistic for the year. In reality the second quarter has been more challenging than expected. The run up to the election and the surprise result created uncertainty and confusion. Political uncertainty, whether domestic or foreign, continues to influence trade and impact our markets.
“The market for hardwood timber though is stable with no major supply issues. European oak remains popular and with the traditional summer closing of the mills, the supply chain will slow and there could be a short term impact on stocks during August and September.
“The OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sector is still difficult and is feeling the effects of shortages as demand continues to outstrip supply. Prices remain volatile and continue to rise. Additional production capacity will ease the situation as we enter 2018.
“MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) supply chain shortages eased slightly in Quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter but product availability has stayed on allocation which in turn leads to continued pricing pressure.
“In summary, we had a bumpy second quarter and the outlook for the next three months is modest.”
You can view the full BMBI Quarter 2 2017 report here.
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