The panel board sector is enjoying a reasonable start to 2011 with some hesitation on behalf of buyers as producers push through price rises. However sales to the furniture and the construction sectors are reasonably strong. Expectations are generally optimistic for the rest of the year with sales improving into March.
For the timber grower in the UK the picture looks fairly healthy for 2011; most sawmills are back to full capacity looking to fill their depleted sawn stocks going into the spring. Demand varies across the country with demand particularly strong in South Scotland, supply and demand further South and North are more in balance. Log prices are strong especially in Northern England and South Scotland. Prices for pallet wood are being driven by strong sawn orders and the underlying price of small roundwood, which is beginning to compete with pallet wood prices. Small round wood fencing is in very heavy demand all over the UK with a strong agricultural sector driving demand. Consequently many small round wood fencing manufacturers are chasing any available stakes, rails and strainers with vigour, providing a very healthy return for the woodland owner. Industrial small roundwood is being competed for by the traditional panel board sector, the bio energy sector, the horse bedding sector and the export market producing a very healthy market for any timber sellers.
All of the above combines to produce an optimistic outlook for the woodland owner for 2011. Everyone in the trade will be hoping that 2011 proves to be as good a year as 2010 has proven to be.