Untreated structural softwood under pressure – down 8.42% YE Feb ‘16

Sales of Structural <120 sawn softwood continued their declines, falling by 8.42% for the year-ended February 2015, compared with the prior year. Total sales were 719,477 m3. The data suggests annual sales will fall below 700,000 m3 in the next two months. This will probably coincide with sales of the treated H2F exceeding an annualized 600,000 m3 for the first time, in the next month.

Having declined from 29% of total sawn softwood sales for the year-ended February 2015, to 26% for the year-ended February 2016, the chart below offers few surprises. It records year-end sales declines for 13 of the last 14 months.


To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.

Just as telling as the year-end data is the month-by-month sales figures. Each of the last six months and 16 of the last 17, have recorded sales lower than the same month in the prior year. For example, in February 2016, sales of 66,716 m3 were 5.6% lower than in February 2015.

This analysis cannot rest there however. The tale of Structural <120 sales cannot be explained away by declining demand. It is product substitution – for treated  structural sawn softwood – that completes the picture.

Reported sales of treated Structural H2F have never been larger, as the chart below shows. There is little doubt that increasing survey participation has impacted this number, but its important to note that it has also (even if only by exclusion) impacted sales of the untreated Structural <120.


To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.

Although it may seem a strange sport, the data suggests we should expect to see guesses, estimates and even a few bets about when exactly, sales of treated sawn structural softwood will take over the leading position from its untreated cousin. All the evidence says that day will not be too far off.