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Builders’ joinery imports close in on $500 million mark

The value of Builder’s Joinery imports rose 12.5% over the yea-ended August, lifting to an all-time record of AUD498.3 million, looking almost certain to rise above the AUD500 million mark some time in the next few months. The biggest contribution was from Wooden Posts & Beams, the value of which rose 35.7% to AUD140 million over the year.

As the chart below shows, the value of Builders’ Joinery imports has trended upwards throughout the long-running housing construction upturn. A small downturn in mid 2016 to mid 2017 is of interest, because the Australian dollar was relatively stable over that period, implying that either volumes or prices reduced. More recently, especially since the start of 2018, the Australian dollar has depreciated against the US dollar. Viewed in that context, import volumes and prices may not changed significantly, with the currency movements adding to the Australian dollar value.’

fig11

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

Regardless of the attribution, the simple reality is that the value of Builders’ Joinery imports has grown very strongly.

As described above, a small number of products within the Builders’ Joinery category make a very large contribution to the total value of imports.

The chart below shows that the most significant of those has been Wooden Posts & Beams (the large orange bars in the chart), the value of which rose by almost AUD37 million over the year-ended August. This grouping includes LVL and I-Beams.

fig12

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

Other products that displayed strong import value growth over the year-ended August are displayed in the table below.

 

Product YE Aug 2017 YE Aug 2018 % Change
Windows 28,561,317 30,388,839 6.4
Doors 66,059,442 69,861,968  5.8
Wooden Posts & Beams (LVL & I Beams) 103,474,200 140,382,306 35.7
Flooring, not parquetry 2,012,792 6,969,443  246.3
Other, (including cellular panels) not of bamboo 138,441,798 165,034,074 19.2

As can be observed, there has been some solid growth in the value of Builders’ Joinery imports, but much of that is off smaller bases, or is consistent with the approximately 7.5% depreciation of the Australian dollar (relative the US dollar) over the last year.

 

Drilling into the details for the major mover – Wooden Posts & Beams – we can see, in the chart below, that some countries grew their supply positions into Australia over the last year.

fig13

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

Most prominent of those was the USA, the value of whose shipments rose 38.7% to a dominant AUD47.5 million, rising more than AUD15 million over the year. Supplies from Finland lifted 64.3% to be valued at AUD19.6 million, rising almost AUD8 million on the prior year.

However, as is often the case, though off a low base, the value of imports from China exploded, growing more than 1,600% to AUD4.0 million. That rate of growth will not be sustained, but month-on-month increases continue to be recorded.

Imports of Builders’ Joinery have expanded rapidly in Australia, with some attention on windows and doors over recent times. However, the products of greatest interest are likely to be the Wooden Posts & Beams, which include some of the very highest value products in timber’s contribution to the built environment.

Posted Date: October 26, 2018

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