Bespoke Green Oak Price Changes

Apr 1, 2022 | certified timber, fresh sawn timber, structural timber

From the 1st April our m3 green oak prices will rise by 10%.

green oak supplier of structural beams showing tannin reaction that can be cleaned, sanded or planed once drier AJF5258 copy 2 green oak supplier orders from sawmills in france awaiting delivery large structural green oak beam sections for timber building and cladding supply

Our structural Oak is arguably the best in the world and comes to you direct from our French sawmill partners.

It’s a bespoke ‘just-in-time’ supply chain that has been built up over 30 years.

As log buyers and green oak suppliers we track the market closely. Last autumn the log buying market in France, our main source for structural green and seasoned Oak beams, revealed the potential for the strong price changes we have seen kicking in this winter and spring.

The reasons behind the increase

In general, the French Oak market is significantly affected by increasing demand from China. Strong buying from China for high quality Oak logs for flooring and barrel staves restricts the overall availability of Oak parcels (groups of felled logs).

In anticipation of a dearth of Oak for 2022 the French sawmills acted to minimise the risk of a real skew to the market by significantly increasing their bids (logs in France are sold by sealed bids – tough huh?). This just to secure log supplies so they can continue to operate.

As a result fresh-sawn Oak prices are subject to some big hikes, for us and sadly for all you green oak framers and timber builders out there too.

We’re close to our fresh sawn suppliers and they’ve been honourable enough to to ease the impact by of the market activity by staging the increases in an effort to give us all a bit of time to adjust and plan.

One happened back in January and another is kicking in now, from the 1st of April.


The price changes so far

As it stands, our current fresh sawn prices have increased twice since since November.

The first was a 12% raise in January and the second has just taken place, from the 1st April our m3 green oak prices go up by another 10%.

This brings us to a level that covers the autumn activity but clearly, due to recent events, there are likely to be more developments which we’re tracking very closely.

The record highs for the prices of French logs have been compounded by the Russian ban on log exports that came into force on January 1st, 2022. Russia is the second biggest exporter of Oak to China, after France.

This is tough news.

We’re feeling it, and we wish you didn’t have to.

Keeping perspective is important. We’re optimistic about the strength of the supply chain and our role in supporting the legal and sustainable forest and woodland management programmes that are the source of this natural, renewable, raw material.


High Quality and a just-in-time supply chain

Luckily, the silver linings aren’t in short supply.

The Euro has been weaker against GBP  – at a 2yr low of late – so we’ve been able to absorb some of the price increase that way.

Sawmill production has been running really well on fresh sawn Oak beams and cladding, and transport is running smoothly with deliveries into the yard every 3 days or so.

Lead times can be as short as 7-10 days from time of order depending on incoming lorry dates – JJ has the inside track, feel free to check in with him if you have a list to send through – however it’s advisable to plan well  in advance to avoid any potential setbacks. As we keep being reminded, none of us can predict what’s around the corner (ahem… P&O, war, pandemic).

And so far, the longview is looking stable. The record high volumes of Oak sold throughout 2021 mean demand is still significant and constant which gives sawmills the confidence to buy.

Throughout 2021, we worked tirelessly to increase capacity with our French partner sawmills and in the Autumn we managed to agree additional supply to cope with the continuous demand.

We’ve worked to build good relationships reputable sawmills (some would say, the best in France) who provide the excellent quality of supply and service that our building and framing customers require and expect.

So rather than being downcast about having to make a price increase, we have plenty to feel thankful about. Not least because everyday we’re reminded of how different things could be.

The good news is…

– just-in-time green Oak production capacity* has increased
– the sawmills cutting production are the best in France**
– lead times can as short as be 7-10 days
– arguably the best Oak in the world
– a stronger GB Pound to offset Euro price increases

Our glass is definitely more than half full.


Structural PEFC Certified Oak stock on hand at our woodyard

yard structural oak beams timber stacks copystructural oak beam stock seasoned for restorationand renovation copy beam yard at cockingsawmills seasoned structural oak

Whilst most of our timber building, timber cladding and timber framing customers have been aware of the inevitable green Oak supply and price changes we understand not everyone is a regular user of green oak and not all have the luxury of planning far in advance.

With this in mind we increased the fresh-sawn, part-seasoned and semi-seasoned Oak beam stock in our yard to make calling off ex-stock for whole cutting lists more feasible.

We’re stocking standard sections in ranges of lengths – see the structural stock – all of which is available online for picking lists or for buying using the online checkout.

See Fresh Sawn Oak stock sections

See Part-Seasoned Oak stock sections

See Semi-Seasoned Oak stock sections

See Fresh Sawn Oak featheredge cladding

Structural Timber Categories & Aging

Our structural timber is categorised as Fresh Sawn (FS) for 6 months from it’s sawn date. From 7-24 months from the sawn date we categorise it as Part-Seasoned (PS). From 25 months from the sawn date we categorise it as Semi-Seasoned (SS).

In this way the age of the sawn structural section corresponds to a level of drying / seasoning.

For engineering calculations our structural timber is technically ‘wet graded’ as, due to section size, it cannot reach the moisture content required for ‘dry graded’.



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