Wood prices - Going down or not?

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city17

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Hi all, I've been designing a small cabinet and was looking to buy some birch plywood*, but noticed that the price has more than doubled compared to what I paid last year (I'm in the Netherlands, but I think the UK/rest of Europe should be similar).

I'm aware that there has been a big increase in wood prices over the last two years, but recently it also has been going down again. Specifically if you look at the futures market (this is US data):

Schermafbeelding 2022-07-04 om 13.41.50.png

As you can see, overall lumber prices are down 40% compared to just a few months ago.

So I was wondering, how long does it actually take for those prices to actually go down at the distributors where we actually buy from? Are distributors maintaining high prices until they've sold all their stock that was purchased at the high prices of a few months ago?

Thought maybe some more experienced woodworkers could give their perspective on this, as I guess this is something that has happened many times in the past. Basically, is it worth waiting for prices to drop?

* birch plywood may be a special case in that some of it comes from Russia, which may be driving up the price at the moment too?
 

city17

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I thought that lumber was quite a global market with quite a lot of lumber being imported from the US as well in the UK and Europe.

I found this resource: Global Wood Markets Info, which seems quite good but I can't read the full articles. Seems to suggest a mixed message, falling lumber prices in general, also in Germany and Finland for example, but also rising costs of plywood due to the Ukraine war.

Apparently 50% of plywood in Europe comes from Russia, that suggests those prices specifically aren't going to come down anytime soon.
 

Droogs

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rarely does any wholesale pricedrop filter through to the retail market quickly unlike any increase. that which shall not be named is causing a lot of additrional stress to UK pricing.Whatever you end up paying will be far better than what we will be able to achieve.
 

accipiter

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Don't know what the price of petrol and diesel is in the Netherlands but if anything like in the UK (compared to a year ago) then nothing will be coming down in price any time soon - even though crude oil prices have "supposedly" dropped a fair amount. Costs for transportation will be the main reason given for prices being high or going up - along with the war in Ukraine.
 

MikeK

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rarely does any wholesale pricedrop filter through to the retail market quickly unlike any increase.

I was only partially listening to Sky News last night, but heard one of the presenters say "up like a rocket and down like a feather" when describing the market.
 

city17

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If you're only making a small cabinet why worry?

The price could go either way, so just buy it and enjoy yourself 👍
Good point, it might be ok for this specific build. For the future I'll be looking at alternative materials that stretch my budget a little less.

From what research I've done now, seems like softwoods (price closely linked to building sector) and most hardwoods will probably go down in price somewhere in the near future. Birch plywood however, will probably remain expensive for a long time simply due to the fact that 50% of it comes from Russia/Belarus.
 

Sean33

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Hi all, I've been designing a small cabinet and was looking to buy some birch plywood*, but noticed that the price has more than doubled compared to what I paid last year (I'm in the Netherlands, but I think the UK/rest of Europe should be similar).

I'm aware that there has been a big increase in wood prices over the last two years, but recently it also has been going down again. Specifically if you look at the futures market (this is US data):

View attachment 138918
As you can see, overall lumber prices are down 40% compared to just a few months ago.

So I was wondering, how long does it actually take for those prices to actually go down at the distributors where we actually buy from? Are distributors maintaining high prices until they've sold all their stock that was purchased at the high prices of a few months ago?

Thought maybe some more experienced woodworkers could give their perspective on this, as I guess this is something that has happened many times in the past. Basically, is it worth waiting for prices to drop?

* birch plywood may be a special case in that some of it comes from Russia, which may be driving up the price at the moment too?
Unfortunately until someone knocks Putin of his perch or the West intervenes I can't see Birch ply coming down in price to quickly due to the amount they export. That being said container rates have come of nearly 40% from there highs and movement has eased but I am guessing that profit will not be passed on anytime soon.
Have you had a look at maybe using Poplar ply, saw a review some while ago that was encouraging
 

city17

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Unfortunately until someone knocks Putin of his perch or the West intervenes I can't see Birch ply coming down in price to quickly due to the amount they export. That being said container rates have come of nearly 40% from there highs and movement has eased but I am guessing that profit will not be passed on anytime soon.
Have you had a look at maybe using Poplar ply, saw a review some while ago that was encouraging
Considered poplar, but I think it's too soft for a cabinet as it dents really easily. I did find some Poplar ply with Birch veneer on the outside edge, which would be great (Made in Spain, sold as Garnica Elegance I think). But seems a bit hard to source here in NL.
 
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