Industry News

CPI publishes its Annual Review 2015-16

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has published its Annual Review 2015-16 'Onwards and Upwards'.

The Review analyses challenges and opportunities across the UK Paper Industry throughout 2015, along with insights into what 2016 holds.

In his overview, David Workman, CPI Director General, underlines that 2015 was the year the plight of Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) hit the headlines. On a positive note, lobbying by CPI, along with other EIIs, saw the Paper Industry maintain its Climate Change Levy relief under the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) and ensured that those Members in the Confederation CCA are exempt from the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). These two measures alone were worth £30m to the industry in 2015.

The CPI has also been heavily involved with officials from the Treasury, resulting in the Chancellor’s recent announcement that the CRC will be cancelled.

Energy was once again a priority in 2015 with rising costs proving detrimental to the paper industry. Environmental issues tackled by CPI are also covered in detail, along with a look at the circular economy package. It was another busy year on health and safety issues following the launch of the new PABIAC strategy at the CPI’s Biennial Health & Safety Conference.

Finally, the Review includes a detailed summary of Packaging Affairs activities featuring updates on regulatory matters, information on the recently introduced carrier bag charge, progress on the corrugated promotional programme and updates on the latest FEFCO marketing campaign.

CPI’s Annual Review 2015-16 is available in hard copy on request. Please contact Emma Punchard, Director of Communications, on 01793 889609 or email [email protected].


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Wood-based panels distributor Meyer joins BMF

Meyer, one of UK’s leading distributors for wood-based panels, has joined the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

Meyer will also host the next BMF Timber Forum at its state of the art training centre in Stoke on Trent on 29 November 2016.

Welcoming the company into membership, BMF Managing Director John Newcomb said: “We are delighted that Meyer has embraced the ethos of the BMF, of suppliers and merchants supporting each other to benefit the whole building materials supply chain. We are particularly pleased that they are opening the doors of their training and exhibition centre to host our next BMF Timber Forum, which I am sure will provide great value.”

David Siggins, Meyer’s Commercial Director, said: “There couldn’t be a better time for us to join the BMF.  We are constantly reminded how little is known in the market about the European Standards that define the performance of wood-based panel products.  Although all plywood is now classified to European Standards, the specification sector continues to use obsolete terms stemming from the withdrawn British Standards. The mismatch between specification and product is causing significant problems in the Builders Merchant sector and becoming part of the BMF is our opportunity to address that.”


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Defra asks citizens to help identify healthy ash trees across UK

The Living Ash Project is encouraging citizens to help in finding a solution to the ash dieback disease.

Launched in 2013 and funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the £1.2M project aims to find at least 400 tolerant native ash trees from which to breed the next generation of healthy trees.

Members of the public are encouraged to obtain a special aluminium tag to fix to healthy ash trees and submit basic details about the tree on-line, together with a photo.

"As spring advances and leaves begin to appear, now is the perfect time to identify the signs of ash dieback – wilting growth and possibly even bark lesions", Defra experts underlined.

Defra’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, said: ‘’Defra is very pleased to be able to support this important project. Not many people may know that 46 species of plants and animals can only live on ash trees, so it’s not only the trees we will be saving.” 

Living Ash Project’s lead Dr Jo Clark added: "We really need the help of the public to find healthy ash trees across the country. We’re asking anyone that spends time in the countryside and cares about our woodlands to keep their eyes open for healthy trees in areas of ash dieback and if they spot a healthy tree, report it on the project website.”

Ash tags are available free of charge from the Living Ash Project on


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Timber & Joinery products push Builders' merchants sales up in Q1 2016

As reported by the Builders Merchants Building Index, Timber & Joinery Products along with Heavy Building Materials were the key drivers of builders' merchants sales rise in Q1 2016.

According to the Bulletin published by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), the two categories accounted 46.6% and 21% of total builders merchants’ sales during the last quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, Heavy Building Materials sales increased 5.2% and Timber & Joinery Products grew 4%.

On a macro scale, Builders Merchants sales in Q1 2016 were up by 5.4% on Q1 2015 with total ex VAT sales-out of £1.27bn compared to £1.20bn. Q1 sales also rose by 4.6% on Q4 2015

BMF’s Managing Director, John Newcomb said: “The year on year and quarter on quarter growth evident in builders merchants sales is clearly encouraging.  It is also at odds with the recent ONS figures that reported construction output down by 1.9%, which have already been challenged by the Construction Products Association. Our data is in line with the CPA’s Q1 survey. ONS figures have been revised in the past, so they may yet come back with a more positive picture that reflects what is actually happening in the market.”


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Housebuilding boost timber frame market in 2016, MTW Research shows

A new report on the state of Timber Frame Market published by MTW Research suggests the industry continues to outperform the UK economy, despite slowing slightly from recent double digit growth.

Based on data from 80% of the timber frame market, the research found that 2016 profitability continues to strengthen as demand rises from housebuilding and commercial construction. However, MTW notes that there is some evidence of likely deceleration in growth for timber frame sales in H2 2016, though healthy trading patterns are forecast for 2017 and beyond.

According to the report, rising volume demand for timber frame homes over the last few years has sustained optimism with increasing market opportunities at both lower and higher value ends of the market in 2016. This has underpinned the timber frame market with MTW reporting some 80% of timber frame suppliers having good or excellent credit ratings in 2016.

The research highlights that housebuilding levels are some 31% higher than in 2010, with timber frame sales having risen faster than the overall housebuilding market. MTW’s report also reviews the MMC market (modern methods of construction), finding that sales in this sector are set to top £2 billion for the first time in 2018, underpinning further optimism for new building technologies and materials in the future.

The complete 2016 report is purchasable on MTW Research’s website at


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