Industry News

UK heavily reliant on softwood imports from EU, TTF Stats show

The latest Statistical Bulletin released by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) shows how UK softwood imports heavily rely on trade with the EU.

Following on from 2015 trends, in the four months to April 2016, 92% of total UK softwood imports came from the EU. Sweden is by far the largest supplier of softwood to the UK market accounting nearly 50% of the trade with the EU. Other strong EU trade partners include Latvia and Finland.

Of non-EU countries, the great majority of softwood trade is with Russia which accounts for nearly 80% of the softwood imported into the UK from outside the European Union. Canada and Norway make up most of the remainder.

On a wider perspective, the volume of timber and panel imports to the UK was 5% higher compared to the same period of 2015, mainly due to an increase in the imports of panel products. Major growth sectors included Brazil - which saw a 31% growth in volume of softwood plywood exported to the UK compared to 2015 - and Indonesia which increased its export of hardwood plywood by 53% in volume.

However, the value of softwood imports declined over the same period in 2015 by around 7.5%: sawn goods were down by around 8%, while planed goods were 6.5% lower. This is linked to currency fluctuations during this period.

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF, said: “These statistics show the continued reliance on trade with the EU for the softwood market, though other countries seem ready to increase their market share. We will be following these statistics up with an event in September looking at the potential impacts of the EU referendum vote on the UK timber trade and forecasts for the future.”


[News URL:]

Accoya specified for cladding of giant replica of Noah’s Ark in the US

Accoya, the world leading modified wood produced by Accsys Technologies, has been selected for the cladding of a giant replica of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky in the United States.

Accoya was specified both for its environmental credentials - the product is sourced from FSC certified and sustainable forests - as well as its high-quality and aesthetic attributes.

Officially opened on the 7 July 2016, Ark Encounter is one of the largest wooden structure ever designed. The architects, engineers, and construction managers work for Troyer Group - One Source, a firm charged with the management of sustainable building projects in the US. Troyer Group specified 300 to 400 m3 of Accoya to act as cladding for the ark’s timber frame.

Todd Geer, vice president at Troyer Group – One Source, commented: “We were impressed with Accoya’s credentials - the product is fully carbon neutral, extremely durable in exterior applications and both reusable and recyclable. Accoya has been recognised for its environmental standards worldwide, so we were very interested in using Accoya to help build the country’s very own Noah’s Ark.”

Laura Ladd, head of marketing at Accsys Technologies said: “Accoya has been widely used for innovative construction projects throughout the world. The Ark Encounter project represents the largest order of Accoya wood in the US, and demonstrates why Accoya outshines its competitor wood products.”


[Image courtesy of]

[News URL:]

Illegal logging: EU FLEGT Facility issues information brief on EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a new information brief - available here - about the EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance.

The EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance was established in 2009 and represents a forum for policy dialogue as well as a mechanism for sharing information on policies and legal frameworks and for coordinating initiatives aimed to stop illegal logging and associated trade. 

Under the BCM, China and the EU explore approaches to recognising the legality verification schemes for timber and timber products of timber-exporting countries, including those from countries participating in FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). This includes a trilateral dialogue between China, Indonesia and the EU.

The two parties to the BCM are also supporting the further development of the Chinese Timber Legality Verification System (CTLVS), taking into consideration EU experiences with the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and in countries that are negotiating, or have signed, VPAs.

China and the EU are also working to identify policy and research priorities as well as conducting studies to improve information exchange and policy dialogue on the trade in timber and timber products between China and neighbouring countries.

China is represented by the State Forestry Administration and the EU is represented by the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission under the BCM.

For more information about the BCM, and an overview of current and past activities, visit


[News URL:]

State of UK Timber Market under lens in Tilhill Forestry Bulletin

Tilhill Forestry has published its new Timber Bulletin providing commentary and interpretation on key themes affecting the UK timber market.

The report explains that, while prices were down during 2015 for small roundwood, logs and standing timber, the first half of 2016 has seen a rebound driven mostly by the sawn fencing market and the weakened Sterling.

The vote to leave the EU and the potential impact of Brexit are also discussed in the Bulletin. The report states that the vote has created uncertainty in the market making timber imports more expensive. That could provide a boost for UK sawmilling compensating sector's vulnerability to economy and exchange rates.

Biomass and the panel sector seem to be less exposed to economic uncertainty although biomass will be hit hard by the reforms to the Renewable Heath Initiative (RHI) targeting residential and small commercial installations.

Another concern underlined in the Bulletin regards the insufficient tree plantation policy. Figures show that the private sector is dominating supply at more than double the state sectors combined. Even though the trend is set to continue, the forecast decline in availability of timber in the period 2027-31 is of concern to processors and growers alike.

Peter Whitfield, Timber Operations Director, commented: “The report clearly illustrates that the last year has been a turbulent one with many parts of our industry being negatively affected. However, it is not all doom and gloom; in the context of the global average, the UK has performed strongly and with exchange rates likely to be in our favour, it is forecast to continue to do so in comparison with other countries.”

To read and download a copy of the report click here.

Tilhill Forestry Ltd - a wholly owned subsidiary of the BSW Timber Group - is a national company providing a full range of consultancy and contracting services to UK forest owner and forestry investor.


[News URL:]

PEFC UK publishes presentations from its Annual Stakeholder Meeting 2016

Presentations and insight form the PEFC Annual Stakeholder Day 2016 are now available on PEFC UK website here.

The event - held on Tuesday 5th of July at the Society of Chemical Industry in London - saw relevant contributions by Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Sustainability for the influential global industry group, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Martyn White of the John Lewis Partnership, Steve Cook of Willmott Dixon, Riikka Joukio of Metsäboard and the WBCSD Forest Solutions Group and Sarah Price, Head of Projects & Development.

Main findings of the Annual Stakeholder Day include:

  • PEFC has released over 17 500 Chain of Custody certifications in 62 countries covering more than 285 Million hectares of forest worldwide
  • Certified forest area has grown +4% in the past 3 years
  • Annual demand for industrial wood is expected to grow constantly in the near future
  • Developing standards that are both achievable and stretching will be an ongoing challenge
  • Certification plays a key role in brand value and recognition
  • Collaboration through trade bodies creates a strong common voice
  • Make Legal and Sustainable sourcing is a key requisite for any fit out or new build projects

For more information, please contact Hilary Khawam at [email protected].


[News URL:]