Hardwood plywood import volumes grew 16%, while softwood ply rose nearly 48%, with China and Brazil leading the pack respectively.

OSB and particleboard imports were also up in January-February compared to 2015 but MDF imports were down. In total, solid wood imports were nearly 3% lower and imports of panel products were 14.5% higher.

Softwood import volumes dropped 2.6% and the value of those imports compared to 2015 fell by around 10.5% due to a substantial drop in prices. The value of sawn goods was down by around 9% and the value of planed goods was 13% lower.

Hardwood volumes were down 6.8%, mainly due to volume falls from Africa, Asia and South and Central America.

Leading supplier North America recorded a 4% increase in export volumes to the UK.

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