Timber Trade Federation review shows rise in UK consumption of timber and panel products despite uncertainty over Brexit

UK consumption of timber and panel products is on the rise despite uncertainty over Brexit according to the latest statistical review from the Timber Trade Federation (TTF).

Growth in the consumption of wood products resumed in 2016 following a small drop in volume the previous year rising to over 16 million m3 for the first time since before the recession of 2008.

Europe remains the single largest source of supply for timber and panel products imported to the UK, by both volume and value.

Mainland European and UK produced timber and panel products continue to dominate the supply chain in the UK accounting for around 91% of all supply.

The statistics revealed a 4.4% growth in UK imports on the previous year, 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%.

The level of UK timber and panel products exports remains quite low, achieving a volume of 0.5 million m3.

“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,” said David Hopkins, TTF managing director.

“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.”

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