UK timber import slowdown predicted

21 November 2017

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) is predicting a slowdown in the UK’s softwood imports for 2018.

The TTF’s Softwood Import Forecast shows growth is expected to slump to just 0.5% in 2017-2018.

In 2016-2017, growth in softwood imports grew by 3.7%, from 6,219,000m3 to 6,451,000m3, and annual growth in the sector has remained at a similar level since 2012.

The TTF said the expected contraction was due to pricing issues caused by the depreciation in Sterling following last year’s referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

It said timber imports were a good indicator of growth in wider construction since timber was a vital component of the majority of projects, particularly housebuilding, residential development and home refurbishment and improvement.

“If the timber market contracts, this will cause the rest of the construction industry to contract too, weakening its ability to respond to growing housing demand,” it said.