Consumption of sawn hardwood in the UK has fallen by nearly 50% since 2004, according to new Timber Trade Federation (TTF) statistics.

The TTF report, prepared by Nick Moore of Timbertrends, shows 454,000m³ of sawn hardwood was sold into user markets last year – a decline largely caused by a 44% drop in imports between 2004 and 2008. Import volume was around 426,000m³ last year.

Temperate species have fallen the most during the period – down 50%, while imports of tropical species have declined by 25%, most of which occurred between 2007 and 2008.

The report found that UK sawn hardwood production has also declined over the period and, although volumes have levelled off in the past three years, output is down by a quarter.