New timber report shows
stable prices

A report on the standing value of conifer timber within the UK’s private sector has been published by one of the UK’s leading forestry consultancies. The Bidwells Timber Price Database shows some stability in the prices paid over a 12-month period although indications are that shortages in supply could force prices up.

The document records responses from 75 sales transactions covering almost 615,000 cubic metres of timber traded mainly in Scotland, but with some information from Northern England and Wales, providing a useful insight to the forestry sector which contributes nearly £1 billion GVA to Scotland's economy every year. Forestry and timber processing alone contributes £771 million GVA of this and employs around 20,000 FTE people in Scotland.

Raymond Henderson, head of forestry with Bidwells, said:

With a standing value to growers of over £14m, the results provide a reasonable snapshot of timber prices achieved in the private sector during the reporting period of April to September 2017. When compared to the returns in our first report (October 2016 to March 2017 inclusive) there looks to be little significant change in prices paid, but this picture is perhaps not being backed up by current reports of supply shortages and increasing upwards pressure on standing sales values.

Clearly, the range of prices being achieved for individual lots of similar average tree size is vast, and this will depend on factors such as species, timber quality, location and ease of working. In order to arrive at a more rounded and reliable view on the subject, a greater number of samples would obviously be desirable, allowing more in-depth analysis of the figures to be carried out. There is a lot of coniferous timber being felled in the private sector, and this sample reflects only a small proportion of it

We are extremely grateful to all those who have contributed information on their timber sales, all of which is treated in strict confidence, and hope that their support for this database will be continued.

A copy of the report can be found here.

To receive a hard copy of the report or to contribute to the next edition of the database please call 01738 494 112.

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