As we trade through the traditionally quieter period for the industry we are seeing that there are certain sectors finding it more challenging than others and within those a definite split between the demographic markets in which they trade.
This year it has only really been June where we have seen most markets finding trade challenging.
I think the warm weather hasn’t helped, as shoppers have stayed at home in the garden / having BBQ’s and judging by the recovery in hospitality going to the pub !!!!
Inflation continues to be stubbornly high, even though interest rates have been increased at every opportunity.
As we all know the effect of this is in itself inflationary and as wage demands/ strikes continue to be at the forefront of the news, this only adds to the wage price spiral.
I believe the next few months will be a very challenging time for all.
Our focus will be on trying to control our overheads and negotiate the best deals we can with our suppliers.
We have just been to the Ligna show in Hannover for a few days. Ligna is a bi-annual show where all the major woodworking machinery manufacturers exhibit their latest innovations. As the last show was cancelled due to Covid, we were amazed at how the industry has moved on in the last few years. Massive production lines , fully automated with robots doing amazing things.
These systems are the future – but come at eye watering costs and between 9 to 18 months delivery.
We purchased an incredible CNC line for delivery in December/ January. This will mean we will bring almost all our sheet material processes back “in house”
Along with this we are still awaiting a price for a cross cutting and fully automated stacking line. This line alone will be around a Million Euros and is on at least a 12 month lead-time.
Investment continues at Ramsey’s as we need to produce more with less people as wages rise and the availability of quality staff reduces.
It seems that after the record prices paid by the mills to secure logs that the tide is turning.
Our thoughts are that there will be a steady decline in the log prices and that our prices too will follow suit.
As things stand we are being cautious about placing contracts as we think prices will weaken, especially after the mill shut down period at the end of July.
We have already covered our purchases for July as we cant run out during the holidays as virtually nothing is shipped for a month during this shutdown period.
We will be reducing our prices on the 1st August. The amount that this will be will be determined by our negotiations for our next contractual period. I will be writing to you again in Mid- July with your revised prices.
As we feel prices could well fall again later in the year we are going to buy a very short term contract ( probably no more than 2 months) – so we can look again in October at reducing prices further if raw material costs fall again.
I hope this will help in these testing times.
Chipboard remains very stable and volumes are available.
As the energy costs fall it is our hope that we can negotiate a reduction in July that will allow us to reduce prices for these products as well in August.
We are dealing with massive organisations here, but I am hopeful that as their sales fall they will adjust their selling prices.
I will of course update you in July
MDF and HDF
All our MDF/HDF is imported from Europe.
Prices have fallen back slightly, yet transport costs are still very high with no sign of any relief in the levels demanded. That being said we have been able to move over to 5mm Ottoman baseboards and reduce prices.
At the moment we are talking to an alternative source of MDF/HDF. The initial discussions are very positive and are hoping these talks will lead to our being able to reduce prices further.
The arrival in December/ January 2024 of our new CNC will again give us the ability manufacture more cost effectively rather than importing these products.
This machine will open new markets for ourselves and we will be looking to increase our exposure to Headboards and Drawer fronts. Ottoman and Drawer baseboards.
Along with this we see Upholstery / Sofa shaped components and Bedstead frames being a real growth area for us.
Actions and Pistons
The pound continues to be weak against the Dollar.
Again we are in talks with our supplier and will update you as to any progress we make in July.
Due to the unique safety features of our actions it is proving difficult to get alternative manufacturers to quote for our actions as the investment required to tool up for our specification is considerable.
That’s it for now. I wish you all the best for the remainder of the summer and hope we all have a positive upturn in the Autumn.
All the best.
Ramsey Timber Group is the leading supplier of timber components for divan and ottoman bed manufacturers in the UK. Ramsey Timber specialises in manufacturing and sub-assembling softwood timber and sheet material components for divan and ottoman bed frames. This includes divan bed components, sub assembled divan frames, bed slats, futon components and sub assembled Ottoman kits. We offer complete solutions for the bed industry and can also supply a wide range of chipboard headboards to suit all sizes and styles, as well as drawer fronts and drawer baseboards for divan beds.