Timber batten prices go through the roof

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Roofing batten along with other timber supplies are in short supply due to global pressures, Brexit and increased demand with new house builds heightening the  problems in the supply chain.

The chief executive of national roofing contractor Avonside Group Eddie Stanton, commented saying that: “The price of roofing batten is rising on a monthly basis, already in excess of 50% over the past six months, and supply lead times are getting longer.

“This is putting enormous pressure on the house building supply chain, especially roofing contractors, in terms of what price increases they can absorb and what they have to pass on.”

The price increases across the construction industry have been a burden some have been unable to pass on to customers with many small builders and constructors already tied in to constructs and unable to raise their costs, even large operations like Jewson’s who are tied in costs restraints to large house builders having no choice but to raise prices.

Nationaltradesmen.co.uk has continued to report on these cost rises in steel , timber and many other building materials through the pandemic and have seen the extreme effects of the perfect storm off Brexit the pandemic and global shortages.

Supplier Marley’s JB Red timber brand director Stuart Nicholson said: “The global/US pressure of increased demand for timber has exacerbated the supply issues caused by the pandemic and Brexit.

“Marley has strong relationships and a robust supply chain with more than 60 timber mills. However, even considering this, current demand levels are outstripping supply.”

Other suppliers have been more upbeat with SR Timber’s Trading Director Shaun Revill commented saying: “We’re in the very fortunate position of having our own dedicated sawmill in the Baltics, which means we have our own robust supply chain – but even that has been tested to the limit.

“We have been very proactive and transparent with our customers and given them lots of information to explain the situation regarding stock availability – which currently has a lead time of around ten days – and price movements.

“This has been well received when you put it into context that the industry hasn’t seen anything like this since World War II.”

The chief executive of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, James Talman, commented saying that: “We are currently seeing unprecedented shortages of roofing materials, in particular timber.

“This is due to a whole host of different reasons, from Covid-19 restrictions to the impact of low US timber supplies.

Talman said the trade body’s trade survey showed that two-thirds of roofing contractors saw material availability deteriorate in the first quarter of the year, and 89% reported price rises.

“Timber battens were the second-highest material shortage after roof tiles with a third of contractors reporting shortages.

He continued to say: “While our supplier members are doing all they can to alleviate shortages, it will still be some time before we are back to steady levels of supply, and home builders therefore need to work collaboratively with roofing contractors to plan ahead, build in lead times, factor in price rises and ensure flexibility in contracts.”

The industry’s leading timber batten suppliers said they were trying to keep customers informed about current stockholdings, lead times and pricing.