2016 shows strong start for UK timber and panel imports

UK imports of timber and panels in January 2016 reached 756,000m3 with a 1.6% increase compared to December 2015. The result was similar to the one registered in January 2015, but better than each of the January volumes since 2008 with the exception of 2014.

In the latest Statistical Bulletin published by the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) the 2016 start continues buoyant market trends experienced throughout 2015.

China and Brazil, in particular, have grown market share of UK timber and panels market. While China has increased exports of hardwood plywood, Brazil has achieved a similar domination of the softwood plywood imports.

The 2015 overall share of timber and panels imported by the UK from Europe was 84.9%, 0.5% lower than 2014. A similar drop affected North American share of supply (-0.2%) as well as Africa, Middle East and Oceania (-0.2%).

Conversely, 2015 saw an increase of supply from Asia (+0.5%) – mainly due to the growth of hardwood plywood from China – and Central & South America (+0.4%), fed by Brazilian exports of softwood plywood.

Nick Boulton, head of Technical and Trade at TTF said, “These statistics show a continued positive trend for the UK timber trade. It is interesting to see the growth of softwood plywood imports from Brazil, where major manufacturers have made significant investment in strong third party quality assurance for their products enabling UK buyers to have greater confidence in their purchases. We will be addressing this theme with future TTF projects.”