TTF: Timber import volumes into UK returning to regular winter pattern

According to the latest Timber Trade Federation (TTF) statistics, timber and panel product import volumes continued to show a steady decline in Q4 2021 as more “regular” demand returns to the UK market.

The latest TTF statistics found the volume of timber and panel products imported into the UK declined by 158,000m³ in November 2021 as compared to October 2021.

Despite these declines, with 768,000m³ of timber and panel products imported into the UK in November 2021, the total volume of imports reported in 2021 exceeds 11 million m³.

Most products categories are also nearing record import volumes in 2021 even as they enter more regular trade patterns, including the usual winter decline.

Softwood import volumes fell to 471,000m³ – a 90,000m³ reduction from the previous month – and this trend was carried across product categories ranging from particleboard to oriented-strand board (OSB) and medium-density fibreboard (MDF).

“It is normal for timber and panel product imports to tail off towards the winter months as construction demand slows amidst the festive season, and as colder weather deters home and garden renovations,” said Nick Boulton, head of trade and technical policy, TTF. “The fall in the volumes of imports in Q4 2021 also likely reflects the state of supply lines in the structural softwood market which appeared to be largely saturated at that time.”

“As the weather improves and demand for timber climbs, we can expect to see timber imports rebound in our trade statistics, which is a regular pattern for the timber industry. Over the coming year we expect to see a comparatively stable market – but this doesn’t mean there won’t be any squeeze on the supply chain particularly amidst rising international demand.”