Ukraine conflict puts more pressure on the global timber market

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is sending shock waves around the world and the timber market is facing unprecedented challenges. 

A staggering 70% of the UK’s peeled fenceposts come from Belarus, currently facing punishing economic sanctions for joining forces with Vladimir Putin. 

Our staff are working hard behind the scenes to secure timber and, in the short term, our Shield stakes will not be impacted. They are made from home grown spruce. 

The supply of cundy peeled stakes and larger diameter pine strainers could come under pressure, but Mole Valley Farmers has secured the supply of creosote stakes, sourced and machine rounded in Norway. 

We have also managed to secure the supply of larger diameter strainers for the next two months. 

Belarussian forests are mostly pine and peeled products are more labour intensive. With huge forests and cheap labour, it held the market in a stranglehold. 

 

Before the Russian conflict ongoing tensions between NATO and Vladimir Putin had already put a strain on the global supply chain. 

The UK imports a huge amount of timber from the Baltic states, but Putin has been exerting pressure to export to Russia rather than Western Europe and North America. 

Now wide-ranging sanctions have made a volatile situation even worse. Other factors have also played a part including tornadoes in the US, damaging storms and flooding in the UK and soaring energy prices at sawmills and plants. 

Stuart Elford, chief executive of Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said: “Businesses are already struggling with supply chain issues, cost increases and massive price hikes in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic. The situation in Ukraine is undoubtedly going to make that worse for many companies, which they can ill-afford.” 

These are tough times for every business, but we are doing everything we can to keep our members supplied with the essentials they need on farm. 

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