New figures show the Irish forest products sector experienced significant growth in 2007.

COFORD said a record three million m³ of roundwood was harvested last year, supplying the sawmilling, panel and energy sectors.

Coillte supplied 87% of the harvest, with the balance coming from private forests.

Irish forest product exports were worth €333m, a 14% increase on 2006, with panels accounting for €262m and sawn timber €71m.

“This strong export performance was in the face of strong competition in the UK and other markets,” said COFORD chairman Michael Lyn.