Australasia's home for timber news and information

Brexit has strongest downward effect on timber and joinery

After a strong start to the year, growing uncertainty around Brexit has led to a marked slowdown in builders merchants’ sales in Q2 in the UK. As the Brexit deadline looms closer it’s clear that the uncertainty continues to impact negatively on merchants’ sales. Source: Timberbiz

Total builders merchants’ sales in August 2019 were down 5.6% compared with the same period in 2018. On a like-for-like basis, with one less trading day, average sales a day were only 1.1% down. The best performing sector in August was kitchens & bathrooms, which increased by 3.0% year-on-year, on an adjusted basis.

Other sectors which recorded positive growth on an equal number of trading days included plumbing, heating & electrical (+2.3%), workwear & safetywear (+1.8%) and ironmongery (+1.5%). Average sales a day fell back in timber & joinery (-5.2%), tools (-7.1%) and heavy building materials (-0.8%).

Total August 2019 sales were down by 11.4% compared with the previous month. However, when adjusted for the two-day trading difference, sales were down 2.9%. Landscaping (-9.5%), timber & joinery (-2.1%) and heavy building materials (-3%) were significantly down. All product categories saw sales decrease in August compared to July.

Sales in the rolling 12 months September 2018 to August 2019 were up 1.6% on the same period last year. Year-to-date sales also remained positive at 1.2% compared to August 2018.