Under European standards plywood traders must specify if their products contain a palm core, according to Timber Trade Federation head of technical and trade policy Nick Boulton.

The intervention followed concerns expressed in the trade that palm plywood was being sold on the market as an entirely wood product. There were particular doubts raised over the material’s performance in structural panels.

Mr Boulton contacted the British Standard Committee for clarification and was told that, under the classification in standard EN313-2, the term plywood is “reserved for multi-veneer panels made solely of wood”.

He said that, as the performance of palm had not be sufficiently evaluated under European standards, claims of suitability of any sheet materials using it for structural or exterior applications should be “treated with caution”. And the onus was on suppliers to “provide sufficient satisfactory evidence to fully support such claims”.