Landscaping timber sales lift to 18 month high

Sales of domestically produced softwood landscaping timber supplies rose to 152,045 m3 for the year-ended June 2017, their highest annual volume since December 2015. Rather than being supported by a continuous lift in reported sales over the last year, the rise has relied upon the last couple of months to generate its annual result. This is of interest because it seems to run counter to the retail sales data described in the previous item in this edition of Statistics Count.

Sales of landscaping grades totalled 14,002 m3 in June, down just 77 m3 from the prior month, but up almost 4,000 m3 (39.2%), on June of the prior year, as the chart below shows.


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Sales for the last year averaged 12,670 m3 per month, which has proven to be relatively consistent over the last two years. 

Although this is unconfirmed, what may be occurring is that rising sales by softwood producers are about to flow through to a rise in retail sales of these same materials. If that is not occurring, sleeper and retainer wall timbers must be finding a home somewhere other than… homes. That seems unlikely, so on balance, a rise in retail sales for the outdoor timber grades seems likely to flow through in coming months.