UK timber product imports rise 18% in Jan-Feb

16 May 2017

UK timber product import volumes increased by 18% in the first two months of 2017 compared to a year ago, according to the Timber Trade Federation’s (TTF) latest statistics bulletin.

Solid wood imports were 16% higher in January-February and panel products were up 23%.

The figures show hardwood imports up 52% to 100,000m3, but the bulletin urges caution as Finland and Norway are shown as having dramatic increases – the former’s market share of UK hardwood imports increasing from 1% to 9% and the latter’s going from zero to 8%.

The bulletin suggests the distortion has resulted from the likely mis-reporting of hardwood volumes. Meanwhile, softwood import volumes grew 13.7% to 1.02 million m3, with all leading supplier countries exporting more volumes to the UK. Germany recorded the largest increase (+56%), followed by Latvia and Finland.

The value of sawn goods was around 10% higher compared to a year ago, with planed goods soaring by 42%.

Plywood imports grew by 15.7% to 299,000m3, with hardwood ply up 1.6% to 180,000m3. Indonesian and Malaysia have won market share in the hardwood ply sector.

Softwood ply import volumes rose 46.4% to 119,000m3, boosted by growth from China and Brazil. Particleboard volumes rose 32.7% to 147,000m3 aided by much higher volumes from Germany, with matching growth from Poland.

OSB volumes were down 9.8% to 46,000m3 and MDF shipments grew 48.2% to 131,000m3.

For more on the bulletin, visit