UK tropical hardwood plywood imports from China grow in 20231 November 2023
The UK imported 61,000m3 of tropical hardwood plywood from China in the first eight months of 2023, 57% more than the same period last year, according to the latest bulletin from the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).
The increase compares with a sharp fall last year in UK imports of Chinese products faced with tropical hardwoods in favour of Chinese products faced with temperate hardwoods.
ITTO says the trend change is likely to at least partly reflect concern that plywood comprised of Russian birch was being shipped from China in contravention of UK trade sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
UK imports of Indonesian plywood in the first eight months of this year were 39,200m3, 10% less than the same period last year. The UK imported 28,500m3 of plywood from Malaysia, 31% less than the same period last year.
UK plywood imports from Thailand were down 62% to 3,800m3.
However, in the same period there was a large percentage increase from a very small base in tropical hardwood plywood imports from Brazil (+115% to 3,800m3). Imports from Paraguay also increased 13% to 2,000m3.
“Meanwhile, the combined effects of Brexit, supply shortages and rising energy and other material costs on the European continent continue to impact on UK imports of tropical hardwood plywood from EU countries which were just 5,000m3 in the first eight months of this year, 42% less than the same period last year,” ITTO commented in its latest bulletin.