Yes, we are finally in 2021 – which at times during last year, we could not envisage!
Often I found, when talking to people about the events of last year, that I was actually talking about 2019. It made me realise that 2020 was one of the most tumultuous years we have experienced, throwing out our normal sense of time.
Dolphin Bay is confident that 2021 will be a prosperous one for our customers and industry. We are not saying this lightly, or to make people feel good, but truly believe that this year will be a good year. This comes after seeing the tenacity and strength demonstrated by the wood preservative industry last year. Companies are better equipped, more streamlined and, to be honest, tougher overall for coping with any challenges that this year might bring.
This year we want to start off by saying thank you for the open and honest discussions we have about all issues affecting our partnerships. Recently, it was necessary to implement price increases for our wood preservatives. We would like to show our appreciation to our customers for understanding the drivers that made this necessary.
Last year was defined by uncertainty. We realise that companies continue to face huge pressure not only to be profitable but also just to survive in the short term. This means keeping a careful tab on costs.
For some time, we managed to act as a safe harbour by taking the brunt of the volatility in exchange rates and commodity prices.
Dolphin Bay implemented the price increases only after long and thorough consideration, and we tried to mitigate the effects of the increases on our customers’ businesses as much as possible. We reached the conclusion that the increases were inevitable. The local inflation rate has decreased, which might have seemed a positive factor, but our business is driven far less by inflation than by the exchange rate and commodity prices, especially that of the CCA raw material, copper, which has nearly doubled. At the same time, shipping rates have increased substantially.
Exchange rates reached record highs in 2020 before starting to diminish again, and some commodity prices increased up to 100% off their lowest base. For some time, we managed to act as a safe harbour by taking the brunt of this volatility and the rising costs. However, there came a time where these increases could not be borne by our company any longer.
We are looking forward to working with each one of our customers and the timber treatment industry to maintain and improve what has already been built. We have exciting developments to share when the time is right.
It is a pleasure to embark on this new year with you.