LAST year saw record volumes of timber imported into the UK, according to an industry body.

Around 11.7 million m3 of wood arrived on the country's shores in 2021 - the highest yearly total since 2007.

That's according to statistics released by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), which also revealed an "expected decline" in December's imports. 

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As the UK entered the festive period, the volume of imported timber and panel products declined by 231,000m3 from November to December 2021.

The significant volumes seen in 2021 were largely due to extraordinary market activity in the first three quarters, with Q4 witnessing a more regular winter decline.

Softwood imports experienced the most dramatic decline, with volumes dropping from 478,000m3 in November to 301,000m3 in December.

Volume reductions were seen across nearly all product categories, from hardwood to OSB.

TTF chief executive David Hopkins said: “It is normal for timber and panel product imports to tail off towards the winter months as construction demand slows amidst the festive season, and as colder weather deters home and garden renovations.

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“As the weather improves and demand for timber climbs, we can expect to see timber imports rebound in our trade statistics, which is a regular pattern for the timber industry.

Forestry Journal: David HopkinsDavid Hopkins

“We will be exploring what has been an extraordinary year for the timber industry in our upcoming Market Statement, which is set to come out next week."