Timber and panel product import volumes grew 5% in the first two months of 2012, according to the latest Timber Trade Federation (TTF) statistics.

The growth equated to around 56,000m³ more than the same period in 2011.

“This has been the best start to a year for timber imports for four years,” said the TTF bulletin.

“However, with just two months data available, a firm pattern for 2012 is yet to be established.”

Softwood and hardwood volumes grew considerably – 18% and 13% respectively, while chipboard imports were 22% up.

Plywood, OSB and MDF import volumes were down by 20%, 38% and 18% respectively.

Swedish softwood volumes rose 30%, giving it a market share of more than 50%. Latvian and Irish volumes grew by around 24% and 23% respectively.

In hardwood, Cameroon registered a 47% growth to 12% of the import market, while Italy’s volumes grew by 27% and Malaysia was up by 43%.

Hardwood plywood volumes were 25,000m³ down on 2011. China continues to dominate the sector with 50% of the market.

For more details visit www.ttf.co.uk