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Forestry Statistics 2014 - 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 2013.

The source of imports for these products has remained stable between 2012 and 2013, with the exception of wood pulp (the 2012 figures can be found in Forestry Statistics 2013).

Sawn softwood, particleboard, fibreboard, and paper and paperboard were overwhelmingly imported from EU countries in 2013 (Table 3.8):

  • Sweden (46%), Latvia (14%) and Finland (13%) provided the majority of imports of sawn softwood to the UK.
  • Most particleboard imports to the UK came from Germany (25%), France (22%) and Ireland (15%).
  • Ireland (34%), Germany (24%) and Spain (11%) were the principal sources of fibreboard imports.
  • Most paper and paperboard imports came from Germany (19%), Sweden (17%) and Finland (15%).

Sawn hardwood and wood pulp imports originated from a range of both EU and non-EU countries in 2013:

  • The USA (22%) were the largest single source of sawn hardwood imports to the UK.
  • Sweden (27%) and Brazil (26%) provided the majority of wood pulp imports to the UK. Sweden increased its share by 11 percentage points between 2013 and 2012, while the USA's share decreased from 17% to 7%.

The vast majority of UK imports of plywood in 2013 came from countries outwith the EU, such as China (42%) and Brazil (15%), while Finland (12%) accounted for the majority of EU trade. 

Table 3.8 Country of origin of wood imports to the UK, 2013

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

46

0

0

0

0

27 17

Finland

13

1

12

0

2

7 15

Germany

5

7

0

25

24

1 19

France

0

9

1

22

1

0 8

Italy

 0

 10

 1

 1

 0

1 4

Netherlands

 0

 2

 1

 0

 0

6 4

Ireland 

8

 2

 1

 15

 34

0 1

Belgium

1

3

0

10

8

0 2

Spain

0 0 1 3 11 3 2

Latvia

14 6 2 8 4 0 0

Poland

0 3 0 0 7 0 2

Portugal

0 0 0 10 1 4 2

Estonia 

2 8 0 0 1 0 0

Other EU-27

2 3 2 4 3 4 5

Total EU-27

92 54 21 99 96 53 81

China 

0 1 42 0 3 0 3

USA

0 22 0 0 0 7 4

Brazil

0 0 15 0 0 26 2

Russia

5 1 5 0 0 0 0

Malaysia

0 5 9 0 0 0 0

Cameroon

0 9 0 0 0 0 0

Other non-EU-27

2 10 8 1 1 14 11

Total non-EU-27

8

46

79

1

4

47 19

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 country of origin for UK sawn softwood imports over the past 20 years.


Figure 3.2 Country of origin of sawn softwood imports to the UK, 1962-2013

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 2014