The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has issued its Statistical Review 2017. The publication shows that growth in the consumption of wood products in the UK resumed in 2016, following a small drop in volume the previous year. A near 3% volume increase resulted in the volume of wood products consumed rising to over 16 million m3 for the first time since before the recession of 2008.
Regarding the origin of timber and panel products imported to the UK, Europe remains the single largest source of supply in 2016 by both volume and value. In details, mainland European (including Russia) and UK produced timber and panel products continue to dominate the supply chain in the UK and continue to account for around 91% of all supply.
Talking of types of products imported, the review shows that UK imports grew by 4.4% in 2016 over 2015. This growth was especially generated by growth in particleboards (+12%), MDF (+9%) and softwoods (+6%). A near 1% increase was recorded for plywood imports but hardwood imports were lower in 2016 by around 2%. On the other hand, the level of UK timber and panel products exports remains quite low, achieving a volume of 0.5 million m3.
Finally, the publication presents a focus on the influence of the housing market on timber consumption along with an insight on the state of the whole Timber Industry. Significantly, the review confirms that the size and growth performance of the UK timber industry – worthy £9.6 billion in 2015 - compares favourably with many other industries, confirming the importance of the sector within the UK economy.
David Hopkins, TTF Managing Director, commented: “In terms of the value of wood products consumed in the UK, the year 2016 was the best since before the recession and indeed was better than the pre-recessionary year of 2007.”
“Although little changed materially in 2016, a high degree of uncertainty for the future was created by the EU Referendum result.”
“Diﬀerent and new challenges are and will be presented, yet the timber industry has a long and mostly successful history of dealing with change. For our part, The TTF will keep on supporting member companies and new partners, putting programs in place for the benefit of the whole supply chain, and continue looking forward to facing the future together.”
UK consumption of timber and panel products on the rise despite Brexit uncertainty
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