A report published by forestry consultancy Bidwells indicates a stability in the currently high values of standing timber but warns of a glut in European imports temporarily affecting the price of home-grown timber.

The Timber Price Database tracked the sale prices of private sector coniferous timber in Scotland from the start of October 2018 to the end of March 2019 and concludes that values have remained fairly stable at the comparatively high levels which had been experienced since late 2017.

Raymond Henderson, Bidwells’ head of forestry, said: “The latest results are based on quite a small sample of just over 206,000 cubic metres of timber with a standing value to the grower of approximately £8.1 million, but what was clear during the reporting period was that demand from processors remained high as did standing prices paid to growers, but, as ever, things change.

“Windblow and the high incidence of timber affected by bark beetles on continental Europe – possibly as a result of the hot, dry conditions of summer 2018 – has produced a glut of imported timber looking for a home.

“UK sawmillers, in particular, have come under pressure in terms of both price and demand for their finished products in light of this flood of imports, which has inevitably led to lower demand and price for home-grown standing timber. This effect is not demonstrated in the results from this report and should be a temporary phenomenon until European timber harvesting rates return to a more normal footing.”

Mr Henderson added that the fundamentals of the UK industry remain sound and should, despite the ongoing Brexit situation, give all connected with timber real confidence for the future.