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Forestry Statistics 2013 - Sources

Sources: Trade

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Statistics on imports and exports are based on the published overseas trade statistics for intra-EU trade and extra-EU trade produced by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and available at

Data on apparent consumption is derived as UK production plus imports less exports.

Data Sources and Methodology

The data obtained from HMRC cover quantities (weights and volumes) and values of wood and wood products imported to and exported from the UK. Data are compiled for the following products:

  • roundwood - woodfuel, industrial roundwood;
  • wood charcoal;
  • wood chips, particles, residues and wood pellets;
  • sawnwood;
  • wood-based panels - veneer sheets, plywood, particleboard, fibreboard;
  • pulp - wood pulp, other pulp;
  • recovered paper;
  • paper & paperboard - graphic papers (including newsprint), sanitary & household papers, packaging materials, other paper & paperboard. 

For roundwood, sawnwood and wood-based panels, a softwood/hardwood breakdown is available.

Data are also obtained by country of origin (for imports) and destination country (for exports).

For consistency with timber deliveries data, roundwood and wood chip exports figures are replaced by those compiled from companies believed to export roundwood and/or chips. For Northern Ireland, figures are provided by the Forest Service.

Where the HMRC reporting units for quantity differ from those shown in this publication, figures are adjusted using standard FAO/ECE conversion factors, which are listed in the Timber section of the Sources chapter.

The figures may also be adjusted where an apparent inconsistency in the UK trade figures cannot be resolved before the international return is required.

Historically, HMRC wood trade figures have often necessitated adjustments, following liaison with practitioners in the trade (including the Expert Group on Timber and Trade Statistics, Wood Panel Industries Federation ( and Confederation of Paper Industries ( This is partly because detailed intra-EU wood trade data is obtained through a survey of businesses that trade above a particular value threshold. Businesses that trade below this threshold are only required to report the total value of their imports and exports. Therefore the trade data reported in this publication for individual products is based on a potentially biased survey. More information on HMRC statistics can be found at

Wood pellets are included within the "wood residues" category in trade statistics, but are separately identifiable from 2009. A total of 1,487 thousand tonnes of wood pellets were imported into the UK in 2012 at a value of £185 million. Exports totalled 54 thousand tonnes, with a value of £4 million in 2012. These figures are included within the "other wood" category in Tables 3.4 to 3.7.


Detailed information on the quality of the trade statistics presented in this publication is available in the "Quality Report: UK Wood Production and Trade" at$FILE/ukwptqrpt.pdf

Further quality information on FC Official Statistics is available at:


Statistics on imports and exports are subject to revision after publication if revisions are made to the overseas trade statistics produced by HMRC. Figures may also be refined to take account of expert advice from the Expert Group on Timber & Trade Statistics and trade associations on the trade in specific products.

Figures for 2012 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2012 provisional figures", available at:$FILE/ukwpt13.pdf

Revisions have been made to some of the 2011 and 2012 figures to take account of revised data released by HMRC and further checks. These changes have resulted in: 

  • Upwards revisions of up to 1.1% in the quantities of sawnwood imported;
  • Downwards revisions of up to 5.4% in the quantities of other wood imported;
  • Downwards revisions of up to 0.6% in the quantities of wood-based panels imported;
  • Upwards revisions of up to 0.3% in the quantities of other wood exported;
  • Upwards revisions of up to 0.3% in the quantities of wood-based panels exported; 
  • Downwards revisions of up to 0.3% in the values of sawnwood imported;
  • Downwards revisions of up to 6.7% in the values of other wood imported;
  • Upwards revisions of up to 2.2% in the values of wood-based panels imported; and
  • Upwards revisions of up to 0.8% in the values of wood-based panels exported.

Information on revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2012" are provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2012 provisional figures".

Information on significant revisions to published statistics is available in the "Quality Report: UK Wood Production and Trade" at:$FILE/ukwptqrpt.pdf

The Forestry Commission’s revisions policy sets out how revisions and errors to these statistics are dealt with, and can be found at:$FILE/FCrevisions.pdf

Further information

Most of these statistics are used to compile data that are sent to international organisations in the Joint Forest Sector Questionnaires (JQ1 and JQ2), in some cases giving more detail than in this release. These returns are published as Official Statistics on the FC website; provisional figures in May and final figures in September. The statistics are used by Eurostat Forestry Statistics, UNECE Timber Bulletins, and UN/FAO Forest Product Statistics and are published on the FAOSTAT database (*/E).

A summary of the international statistics available from the FAOSTAT website are presented in the chapter on International Forestry. For more information, please refer to the International Forestry section of the Sources chapter.

Statistics on international trade flows (by country of source and country of destination) are also available from the FAOSTAT website (*/E).

The definitions used in this publication are consistent with the international definitions, as given in Eurostat’s "Forestry in the EU and the World 2011":

Figures for UK production and trade of sawn softwood are used alongside data from other sources to assess consumption of sawn softwood in the main end-user markets in the UK. Reports are available at

Release schedule

Provisional trade figures for 2013 will be released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2013 provisional figures" on 15 May 2014. 

Final trade figures for 2013 will be released in "Forestry Statistics 2014" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2014" on 25 September 2014.

Links to Forestry Statistics 2013