Timber has moved into the top 10 fastest growing UK manufacturing sectors, achieving a combined value of £9.5 billion in turnover in the forestry and wood products sector, according to the annual Statistical Review for 2016 released by the Timber Trade Federation.
Wood products revenue grew 11.4% growth while forestry and logging rose 20.4% on the previous year. The growth rate outperformed other related industries such as furniture, plastics and construction.
The figures however show that the timber market for 2015 suffered a small contraction from the previous two very strong years of growth, reflecting the overall economic slowdown across the globe.
“These statistics show the value and importance of the timber supply chain to the UK economy. This is a well-established supply chain, with great growth potential. However, like all other sectors we are dependent on a joined up economic policy approach across the country,” said David Hopkins, TTF managing director.
Domestic and imported wood consumption fell 1.8% from 2008 to 2014, predominantly due to changes in imported product consumption: Hardwood and MDF consumption decreased, whilst softwood remained stable. Plywood and fibreboard consumption grew from 2014.
UK exports, production and the share of UK-produced timber consumption also fell compared to imported timber.