As we approach the end of a year dealing with the after-effects of leaving the EU and the continuing disruptions resulting from the pandemic, we asked three TRA members what their predictions for 2022 would be.
Luke Roberts, managing director of Donaldson Timber engineering said: “Personally, I think 2022 could be as challenging as 2021 if not more so. The issues around the availability of raw materials are set to continue through 2022, along with price instability.
“All national housebuilders are predicting healthy growth of 5-10%, which will increase the pressure on the supply chain. On top of this, we will continue to face issues in relation to retention, recruitment, and haulage. Therefore, the trussed rafter industry will have to dig deep again to supply the demand that is likely in 2022.”
Ross Baxter, managing director of Saint-Gobain Off-Site Solutions predicts timber prices calming and demand for trussed rafters continuing: “After 18 months of unprecedented demand for timber, we are now starting to see the first indication that prices are levelling off and I expect to see more stability in prices in Q1 and Q2 2022, which will be welcome news for suppliers of trussed rafters and engineered timber generally. However, we are now seeing significant increases in living wage costs, transport costs, utilities, and steel which continues to put pressure on pricing.
“The stabilisation of timber pricing is thanks to a much better supply of product in the market, combined with reduced demand from America and China, which is providing UK manufacturers easier access to quality, sustainable timber. That being said, we are still working closely with our own customers and encouraging them to get their 2022 orders in as soon as possible.
“We’ve also noticed that the overall demand for trussed rafters has remained strong and we are expecting continued market growth next year. This is the case in both the private and social housing sectors as they seek to deliver affordable and sustainable housebuilding solutions.”
Scotts Timber Engineering, managing director, James Scott said from his point of view the new year looks healthy. He said: “Making predictions at this time of year is a tradition in our 100-year-old family business. We’ve all been through an awful lot during the last few years with elections, the referendum, Brexit, record timber prices and of course, a global pandemic. We’re still challenged with skills shortages and must be sensitive to the needs of employees, but I’m optimistic that 2022 has a lot to be positive about. It’s a golden age for our industry and as materials prices settle, there’s lots of opportunity for growth and innovation.”