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Forestry Statistics 2013 - Trade

Origin of wood imports

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Table 3.8 presents data on the source of selected wood products that have been imported into the UK in 2012.

Sawn softwood, particleboard, fibreboard, and paper and paperboard were overwhelmingly imported from EU countries in 2012 (Table 3.8):

  • Sweden (48%), Finland (13%) and Latvia (12%) provided the majority of imports of sawn softwood to the UK.
  • Most particleboard imports to the UK came from Germany (27%), France (22%) and Ireland (20%).
  • Ireland (36%), Germany (22%) and Spain (11%) were the principal sources of fibreboard imports.
  • Most paper and paperboard imports came from Sweden (19%), Germany (19%) and Finland (14%).

Sawn hardwood and wood pulp imports originated from a range of both EU and non-EU countries in 2012:

  • The USA (23%) is the largest single source of sawn hardwood imports to the UK.
  • Brazil (26%), the USA (17%) and Sweden (16%) were among the principal sources of wood pulp.

The vast majority of UK imports of plywood in 2012 came from countries outwith the EU, such as China (44%) and Brazil (14%), while Finland (12%) accounted for the majority of EU trade. 

Table 3.8 Country of origin of wood imports to the UK, 2012

Source

Sawn softwood

Sawn hardwood

Plywood

Particle-board

Fibre-board

Wood
pulp

Paper and
paperboard

per cent of total UK imports (volume) in each category

Sweden

48

0

0

0

0

16 19

Finland

13

1

12

0

2

8 14

Germany

6

7

0

27

22

1 19

France

0

8

1

22

1

0 8

Ireland 

8

 1

 1

 20

 36

0 1

Belgium

0

7

1

10

8

1 2

Spain

0 1 1 3 11 3 3

Latvia

12 4 2 7 4 0 0

Other EU-27

4 21 2 11 12 11 14

Total EU-27

92 51 20 100 96 39 80

China 

0 1 44 0 2 0 2

USA

0 23 0 0 0 17 3

Brazil

0 0 14 0 0 26 2

Russia

5 0 5 0 0 0 1

Malaysia

0 5 9 0 0 0 0

Cameroon

0 9 0 0 0 0 0

Other non-EU

2 11 9 0 1 17 11

Total non-EU

8

49

80

0

4

61 20

Source: UK overseas trade statistics (HM Revenue & Customs), industry associations.


Figure 3.2 shows the main sources of imports of sawn softwood to the UK since 1962. The total level of sawn softwood imports has fluctuated over the period, between around 5 million m3 and 10 million m3. Imports from Canada have reduced since the early 1990s; those from the Baltic States have increased between 1994 and 2003, but have reduced since then. Sweden has consistently been the principal origin country of UK sawn softwood imports over the past 20 years.


Figure 3.2 Country of origin of sawn softwood imports to the UK, 1962-2012

Figure 3.2 Country of origin of sawn softwood imports to the UK, 1962-2012

Source: FAO, UK overseas trade statistics (HM Revenue & Customs), industry associations.

Links to Forestry Statistics 2013