TTF's cautious welcome for a 'year of two halves'

Published:  22 February, 2011

LONDON: The Timber Trade Federation has welcomed new figures showing a boost in UK timber and panel product imports for 2010 – but urged caution against the industry reading too much into the rise.

The newly released Headline Totals show marked increases of the value of UK softwood imports (up 27% from 2009 to £946m), UK hardwood imports (up 18% to £240m), hardwood plywood imports to the UK (up 29% to £278m), softwood plywood imports (up 13% to £105m) and particleboard and OSB imports (up 12% to £138m). The value of MDF imports remained virtually identical to 2009 at £155m.

But TTF chief executive, John White, said 2010 was very much "a year of two halves", with the value of imports higher in the first half of the year and falling slightly in the second half.

“The significant boost in UK timber and panel product imports in 2010 is welcome news for the industry, but growth was stronger in the first half of the year than the second,” he said. “I would urge against the timber industry reading too much into this data for the first quarter of 2011. Our members are reporting that trading conditions are still challenging out there, and there remains a sense of uncertainty about the coming months.”

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