Expert for Timber & Panel Products

Nigel Cox

Managing Director

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Nigel Cox

Nigel’s career in the construction industry spans over 30 years, with the last six years at Timbmet.

Nigel spent 25 years working in a number of management roles at Hanson Building Products. Originally trained as a Concrete Technologist, he spent the early part of his career as a Quality Controller introducing quality management systems before focusing on the continuous improvement of product manufacturing facilities.

He joined Timbmet in 2010 as Operations Director with the challenge to streamline and improve the efficiency of the operational and distribution teams. In January 2013 Nigel was promoted to Managing Director.

Timbmet

Timbmet is a leading national supplier and distributor of hardwood timber, engineered timber and panel products. Established for over 70 years, it has one of the UK’s most extensive Timber and Panel product ranges, complemented by a number of manufacturing services.

The business is dedicated to sourcing innovative timber products from around the world, driven by the demands of their customers, so that it provides the best in product choice and quality.

Timbmet is a member of a number of leading trade bodies, including the Builders’ Merchants Federation, National Association of Shopfitters, TRADA and the Timber Trade Federation. The company has worked extensively with merchants, and has a well-established Merchant Support Team to provide merchants with the level of support and service they need.

Timbmet has extensive in-house manufacturing capabilities ranging from basic cut-to-size and edge banding, to CNC work and bespoke mouldings and profiles. It offers UK-wide coverage via a network of depots, supported by its central Shellingford Distribution Centre in Oxfordshire, with over 200,000 sqft of storage, and a milling facility in Glasgow.

The Timbmet team has built many years of experience and expertise, making them ideally placed to advise on the right products, and offer versatile and cost effective solutions to meet customers’ needs.

Still a family business, the founder’s enduring passion for wood inspires the ethos of the company today; Timbmet… Everything wood should be.

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Timbmet Comment: Q3 2019

Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet is BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products.

In the continued political and economic uncertainty, little has changed since my comments in the last quarter’s report. Brexit dominates the news and, despite the fact another deadline is approaching, we are still no clearer as to whether there will be a deal or not. The extended time period has allowed distributors to plan for all eventualities and therefore product availability shouldn’t be a concern.

The uncertainty led to a weakening in demand for timber and panel products in Q3 2019 despite the good weather. This was clearly shown in the BMBI August statistics where average daily sales of the timber and joinery products category were down 5.2% year-on-year.

Hardwood timber supply of the major species is generally good with stable pricing, although exchange rate fluctuations remain a concern. The market is still being influenced by trade tariff exchanges between China and the USA which are weakening trade. It’s noticeable that demand from China has softened resulting in material becoming more readily available.
The reduction from China in its demand for red oak means there is also a good supply of this wood at an attractive price point. Historically used for internal joinery and mouldings, the demand for red oak has been increasing now that the material is easier to supply.

Medium density fibre board (MDF) and oriented strand board (OSB) availability is still good and this position is expected to continue throughout the fourth quarter. The same applies for plywood and decorative boards although buyers should be aware that a number of manufacturers will be refreshing their colour ranges over the next two quarters.

The Wood Protection Association (WPA) has recently launched its new website with a new series of fact sheets covering flame retardant (FR) products. This should prove valuable as part of the industry’s work in providing guidance on fire-rated products, particularly after two major housing fires in Barking and Worcester Park. It includes a link to the Wood Campus website – the UK’s wood industry free information and learning site – where online CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training can be undertaken.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.

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