Cost and supply issues in the timber industry are turning the tide in favour of concrete fencing products, according to Supreme Concrete’s Sales Director Tim Wright.
The manufacturer of high-performance precast and prestressed concrete, part of Ibstock plc, says that increasing timber prices and the news the industry could be hit by a £1billion bill if Britain leaves the EU Customs Union, means more builders and homeowners are turning to concrete as a long-life and sustainable alternative, particularly for fencing.
Described as the ‘timber tax bomb’ by the Timber Trade Federation, these post-Brexit concerns are combined with a much-publicised rise in timber prices in the last 12 months. Industry commentators are agreed that this trajectory looks set to continue on its path.
However, the message from Supreme Concrete is these concerns can be allayed by opting for concrete alternatives. As much of timber used for fencing is imported from Europe, concrete fencing posts manufactured in the UK provide a more economically viable option as they can be delivered with shorter lead times and are not subjected to changing EU tariffs.
Tim Wright, Sales Director for Supreme Concrete, comments: “This is a cost-sensitive industry. The latest increases in price are clearly the result of a global demand for timber from emerging economies and of course as the fuel-source for biomass energy plants. These factors, coupled with the news that EU timber imports will cease being VAT free if we leave the EU Customs Union, mean the rising tide of people choosing concrete over timber is set to continue.
“As well as concretes cost effectiveness and vastly increased durability of over timber alternatives, products manufactured here in the UK offer shorter lead times and guaranteed availability – the net result is a much more reliable and sustainable solution.”