Due to a perfect storm of circumstances, UK families were recently hit with price increases on everything from petrol and heating to food and clothing. This year, the United Kingdom's consumer price index surged by 3.2%. This was the biggest increase since records began and it looks like the situation will only get bleaker from here on out.
The recent oil and gas price surge impacted not only household heating bills, but also made it more expensive for businesses to manufacture and sell their products. Companies are also having difficulties finding new workers, especially in the warehousing, hospitality, and logistics sectors. As a result of mounting cost pressures, a whopping 70% of UK companies have said they will be implementing price increases in the near future.
Cost Pressures & The Wood Fuel Industry
Wood fuel companies aren't immune to economic factors either. The industry is facing increasing material, production, and transportation costs, which makes developing new products difficult and distributing already-created products more expensive.
This year's seasonal demand increase was also much sharper than in previous years, as many people are turning to wood fuel as an affordable alternative to gas and electric heat.
Increased Material Costs
Wood fuel is, unsurprisingly, made by processing and drying raw wood.
So an increase in the price of raw wood will almost always bring with it an increase in the price of wood fuel.
This year, wood material prices have increased sharply due to a variety of factors and there was also increased competition for raw wood between various industries.
For example, the price of construction timber jumped 23% in the month of August, so forestry companies had a greater incentive to sell raw white oak to construction companies rather than than wood fuel producers. Needless to say, greater competition for materials in limited-supply unfortunately raises costs.
Increased Manufacturing Costs
Labour shortages and increased energy costs have also made wood fuel more expensive to produce. Manufacturing facilities need workers to transport raw material to the factory, operate the machinery, pack boxes, and drive the finished product to the warehouse.
Quite simply, turning a ton of raw wood material into a ton of Ready to Burn briquettes costs more this year than it did in years past.
Increased Logistics & Delivery Costs
Transportation and logistics is another aspect of the wood fuel production process that became more expensive this year. The UK is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of lorry drivers, and high petrol prices also make each mile the product has to travel more expensive for buyers.
Unprecedented Demand For Wood Fuel
While seasonal demand is nothing new, this year's demand-induced price increase will be higher than those of previous years. The unprecedented increase in demand caused by the fuel crisis is both a blessing and a curse for wood fuel producers. On the one hand, more and more people are (re)discovering the wonders of natural wood heat but on the other hand, a sharp increase in demand places added strain on manufacturing and delivery.
Avoiding stock shortages can be tricky as factory manufacturing capacities are limited and delivery delays become a real concern as transportation companies exceed their delivery bandwidth.
When Will Lekto Increase Its Prices?
Being a customer-satisfaction driven company, Lekto Wood Fuels aims to provide its customers with a superlative experience. This means creating products of exceptional quality and making the shopping experience as simple and intuitive as possible, all the while providing industry-leading customer support.
This year, it also means shielding our customers from sticker shock!
So rather than increasing our prices immediately, we have made the decision to postpone the price increase until November 1, giving our customers several weeks to stock up on kiln-dried firewood, night briquettes, heat logs, and all other Lekto products for old prices.
In order to take advantage of the lower pricing, you have to go through all of the checkout steps before 23:59 on October 31, 2021.
Please note that if you put items in your cart in October but only pay for them in November, you will not be eligible for the grace period price.
How Much Will the Price of Lekto Products Increase?
On November 1st, Lekto products will become between 8% and 23% more expensive, with the price of firewood increasing more than the price of briquettes. Fire starting fuels will increase in price most of all.
How Much Will the Average Price of Firewood Rise?
Based on the increased costs of production and distribution, consumers can expect firewood and briquettes to become between 8% and 30% more expensive across the industry.
The price increase will vary heavily from product type to product type, so let’s look at the top 3 wood fuel categories and how they are likely to be impacted.
Seasoned Firewood Price Increase
Seasoning firewood takes an average of 12 to 24 months. Because of this, additional quantities of it cannot be produced to meet the increased consumer demand caused by the fuel crisis. Therefore, seasoned firewood is likely to experience the sharpest price increase out of all wood fuels.
Lekto doesn’t produce or sell seasoned firewood, so our customers will be unaffected by this.
Kiln-Dried Firewood Price Increase
Kiln-dried logs can be produced year-round, so the price hike for this product category will not be as dramatic.
If you’re a user of kiln-dried firewood, you can expect a price increase of between 10%-20%. The figure depends on the type of firewood you are buying and as well as the size of your purchase.
Briquette Price Increase
Eco wood fuel briquettes can be made year-round, but only as long as the manufacturer has access to sawdust, bark, and wood chips. As a result, the price increase on wood briquettes will vary heavily from brand to brand.