Industry News

Wood pellet imports to the UK down 24% year-on-year

As reported by the North American Wood Fiber Review produced by Wood Resources International, wood pellet imports to the UK fell 24% year-over-year in August after record high imports during the first half of 2016.

The United Kingdom is by far the largest importer of wood pellets in the world followed by Denmark, South Korea and Belgium.

In the 2Q/16, the UK imported record volumes of just over two million tons, which was 11% higher than the previous quarter and 21% more than in the 2Q/15. Pellet producers in Southern US continue to be the major suppliers to the UK, accounting for about 50% of the total import volume in the 2Q/16. The other major supplying countries are Canada and Latvia.

Pellet manufacturers in the US South have been a reliable and steadily growing supplier to the UK over the past five years. In 2012, the UK imported less than half a million tons from the US and in 2016, shipments may reach more than eight times as much, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. 

According to the North American Fiber Review, the surprising Brexit vote earlier this year to leave the EU is unlikely to impact near-term pellet exports from North America to the UK as supply contracts remain in place, and official negotiations regarding the EU exit process are yet to begin. However, in the longer term, the decision to stay outside the European Union could impact policy decisions regarding bioenergy incentives with subsequent market impacts.

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UK Wood products and Forestry sectors grew considerably in 2015, TTF Annual Review reports

According to the Statistical Review 2016 published today by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), Timber Industry maintains its place among the larger UK manufacturing sectors and is listed in the top 10 fastest growing UK manufacturing sectors.

In details, 2015 saw a 11.4% growth in the value of wood products, compared on the previous year. Similarly, UK forestry and logging was shown to have grown by 20.4%.

"The growth rate in the wood and wood products sector also outperformed many related industries, such as furniture, plastics and the construction of buildings", the TTF Statistical Review reports. "Together, the forestry and wood products sector achieved a combined value of £9.5 billion in turnover."

However, these positive news are balanced by the "small contraction" suffered in 2015 by the timber market after two very strong years of growth. According to the TTF, the decline was mainly due to the general economic slowdown in the UK, Eurozone and across the globe.

"Having followed a general trend of growth from 2008 to 2014, domestic and imported wood consumption decreased in 2015 by 1.8%. This was predominantly due to changes in imported product consumption: Hardwood and MDF consumption decreased, whilst softwood remained stable and plywood and fibreboard consumption grew from 2014", the Review says.

"There were also decreases in UK exports, UK production and the share of UK produced timber consumption vs imported timber."

David Hopkins, TTF Managing Director, commented: “These statistics show the value and importance of the timber supply chain to the UK economy. This is a well-established supply chain, with great growth potential. However, like all other sectors we are dependent on a joined up economic policy approach across the country. The upheaval of Brexit may have caused uncertainty, but is also an opportunity for us to show our worth. If the Government is serious about creating an “industrial strategy” then we must put forward the case for the timber manufacturing sector providing skilled jobs in every constituency across the country. These statistics help us do just that.”

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Timber prices on the rise in UK market, says latest Forestry Commission Stats Report

The Forestry Commission has released its latest National Statistics on Timber Price Indices.

Timber Price Indices are based on sales by the Forestry Commission and Natural Resources Wales and consist of the Coniferous Standing Sales Price Index and the Softwood Sawlog Price Index. 

The key points from the latest release are listed below.

For the Coniferous Standing Sales Price Index:

  • There has been an overall increase in the index over the last 13 years, following an overall decrease in earlier years.
  • The index was 8.3% lower in real terms (7.6% in nominal terms) in the year to September 2016, compared with the previous year.
  • The average price for coniferous standing sales was £17.31 per cubic metre overbark standing in nominal terms in the year to September 2016, a decrease from £18.24 in the year to September 2015.  

For the Softwood Sawlog Price Index:

  • There has been relatively stable in recent years, following a long period of general decline.
  • The index was 13.6% greater in real terms (14.4% in nominal terms) in the 6 months to September 2016, compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.
  • The average price for softwood sawlog sales was £44.19 per cubic metre overbark in nominal terms in the 6 month period to September 2016, an increase from £38.63 in the 6 months to September 2015 and £41.34 in the 6 months to March 2016.

The complete report can be downloaded here.


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TTF launches online survey to assess panel products specified in UK market

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has launched an online survey to help understand what buyers of panel products order and the performance requirements expected for the various grades of plywood and OSB.

The survey - accessible here - is part of TTF review into the specification of plywood and other panel products to assess whether the right panel products are being specified, and subsequently supplied, for the right applications.

The online consultations is specifically aimed at the purchasers of panel products, such as principal contractors, trade contractors, product manufacturers and merchants.

In fact, both the construction industry and the merchant community have repeatedly raised concerns on the quality of a range of panel products being specified and/or supplied in the UK market.

The Timber Trade Federation is now addressing the issue though a specific task force led by the independent chair Charlie Law from Sustainable Construction Solutions Ltd.


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Structural Timber Awards winners announced

More than 500 leaders and innovators from across the construction sector gathered at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, on October 19 for the Structural Timber Awards 2016.

STA Awards 2016The awards - designed to celebrate innovation, best practice and expertise in timber technology - were hosted by television personality Mark Durden-Smith who presented sixteen companies with a prestigious Structural Timber Award. 

The full list of award winners included:

- Best Social Housing Project - Kingspan Timber Solutions, Dover District Council & Jenner, Castle Street, Dover

- Best Private Housing Project - Urban Splash, hoUSe

- Best Self Build Project - Milner Associates, Redevelopment of Wellington Lane

- Best Education Project - Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Mellor Primary School

- Best Healthcare Project - Foster + Partners, Maggie’s Centre

- Best Commercial Project - B & K Structures & Rubner Holzbau, Pinewood Studios

- Best Commercial Project - Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Alconbury Weald Club

- Best Low Energy Project - Cygnum Timber Frame, The Enterprise Centre at The University of East Anglia

- Engineer of the Year - Engenuiti, The Essex Business School 

- Architect of the Year - Foster + Partners, Maggie’s Centre

- Client of the Year - GSK & University of Nottingham, GSK Laboratory

- Contractor of the Year - Mace, Sky Central

- Product Innovation Award - Smartroof, Smartroof Prism

- Product Marketing Award - Innovaré Systems, iSpecifier

- Pioneer Award -Arup, Use of Timber in Landmark Projects

- Project of the Year - Gilbert & Goode, Green Build Hub

- Judges Choice - Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Mellor Primary School

- Best Use of SIPs - SIPCO, 40 Hill Road

- Best Use of Solid Wood – B & K Structures, Engenuiti, Morgan Sindall & BDP, Essex Business School

- Best Use of Timber Frame - Cygnum Timber Frame, The Enterprise Centre, The University of East Anglia 

Find out more about the awards at


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