Treated timber grows at expense of untreated, but combined strength astounds
The softwood sector continues to astound, pumping out sawnwood sales records on a continual basis over the last year. There are those who consider production, or at least the supply-chain supporting production, is fully stretched and can deliver little more, yet as soon as they say it, the next record comes around. While its all grades together delivering the results, the main game is in structural timbers and the big mover is the termite treated H2F grade, sales growth of which is little short of astounding.
As described in the opening item of this edition of Statistics Count, sales of H2F grew a massive 28.47% for the year-ended September 2016 and totalled 706,827 m3. This is remarkable in its own right, but its persistence in growth since late 2012 is equally remarkable, as the chart below demonstrates.
To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.
While there were periods of growth from earlier in the decade displayed in the chart (the year to the end of September 2010 for instance), since August 2012, 49 months ago, no month has recorded lower sales than the same month in the prior year. That is little short of unbelievable and we have to think, H2F will mark an astounding half-Century when the October 2016 data becomes available.
To put the data in mathematical terms, for the year-ended September 2012, H2f sales totalled 364,912 m3. By the year-ended September 2016, sales totalled 706,826 m3, having averaged a very solid 18.0% per annum for the four years.
As we have described earlier in this edition of Statistics Count, there is substitution driving some and perhaps much of the H2F growth over the period. It is the untreated Structural <120 mm grade that is losing market share to its treated sibling. But that does not mean it is irrelevant. Far from it, as it remains the major grade sold in Australia (at least currently).
The pie chart below shows the proportions of domestic sawn softwood sales for the year-ended September 2016, noting that the smallest grades have been grouped into ‘Other’.