It seems hardly possible that just when we were looking and hoping for a period of more stability, the spectre of uncertainty raises its head again.

Stability in the forest products sectors has certainly been a big hope for 2022 after the history-making supply, demand and price dynamics of the past two years. While we all hope that can still be possible, the supply of Russian and Belarussian wood looks like it will be slowing due to trade and government sanctions. 

Our Softwood Specialist on ttjonline recently outlined how an embargo on Russian and Belarussian imports will have the effect of withdrawing up to 1 million m3 of the Baltic supply chain. He says that this reduction may lead to some shortages in specifications and ultimately pressure on prices to rise again.

Timber Development UK quickly sent a memo to its members recommending that they cease trade with Russia and Belarus. Some like BSW and Stora Enso had already been quick to change their sourcing policies to avoid Russian wood.

Close relationships and adaptability in the supply chain are going to be incredibly important.

Moving on, the March/April issue of TTJ features our annual focus on garden products. Decking, garden buildings and landscaping wood enjoyed stellar performances in 2020 and 2021. And of course, the recent storm knocked down a lot of fencing that needs replacement.

Whether 2022 will continue in a similar vein is a question being asked by a lot of people. 

Many have already invested in their gardens during the pandemic, but many suppliers believe plenty of work still exists, as some people shelved their projects due to labour shortages in the sector and the rising timber prices experienced last year.

So, there is optimism of a busy garden products market in 2022, though maybe not the phenomenal growth we’ve seen in the past 18 months.

In this current issue of TTJ we also cover wood plastic composites which, of course, have continued their steady growth, as more people are attracted by the lower maintenance benefits quoted by suppliers.

The market is not without its issues, as some lower quality products are still being reported, leading the Timber Decking and Cladding Association to get involved in expert witness cases and to promote its WPC product approval scheme.

In addition, we’re pleased to be confirming the date and venue for TTJ Awards 2022 – the InterContinental London Park Lane on September 30. Read all about it in the current issue of TTJ!

The online voting process will start on April 6, when the voting portal is activated on the TTJ Awards Website. Entry forms for the judged categories will also go live on this date.