UK: Timber imports up by 12% in January 2021

According to the Timber Trade Federation, the volume of solid timber and panel products imported by the United Kingdom (UK) in January 2021 totaled 895,000m3 – a 100,000mrise from January 2020’s total imports of 795,000m3.

When comparing January 2021 with January 2020, the statistics revealed that among the individual product categories:

  • Softwood import volumes rose by 22% (530,000m3)
  • Hardwood import volumes fell by 5.5% (38,000m3)
  • Softwood plywood import volumes rose by 24% (82,000m3)
  • Particleboard import volumes fell by 42% (41,000m3)
  • Oriented strand board import volumes rose 135% (58,000m3)
  • Medium-density fibreboard import volumes fell by 22.5% (60,000m3)

The increase in import volumes comes amid a resurgent housing market, with housing starts up by 26% in England in Q4 2020 as compared to Q4 2019.

“Our latest statistics reflect the determination of our members to match supply to demand, with a growth in overall wood product imports amidst a competitive international market which is keeping supply tight the world over, and a surge in construction in the UK,” commented David Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer of the Timber Trade Federation. “This growth is being supported by a buoyant housing market, a government eager to invest, and consumers choosing to spend money saved during the pandemic on home improvements, with some £160 billion saved during the last year.”

Source: Timber Trade Federation