How are we selling oak at lower prices today than we were 20 years ago?
There are two main reasons why we’re able to offer good quality oak at low prices.
Firstly, the exchange rate is improving, negating some of these price rises.
Secondly, the increase in demand is mostly for lower grades, boosting the price of lower quality oak (which we don’t buy) and leaving better quality oak at a better price.
We leave low-quality oak to our competitors
The increased demand from China is mostly for firewood grade oak. This means most of the oak brought into the UK is a QB2 or 3 grade. It is square edged and kiln dried from green in the Eastern bloc, chopped into short lengths (2m or so) and shipped to the UK.
There is such demand for this stock from our competitors that the price has shot up.
We don’t buy this grade. We cut from Qba and QB1 grade, which is not imported into the UK in great quantities so the price has not gone up as much.
Cheaper and better oak
We are now able to supply QB1 kiln dried seasoned oak to joiners at lower prices than mills in Eastern Europe will supply their kiln dried from green stock in bulk.