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Forestry Statistics 2014 - 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 pellets;
  • wood chips, particles and residues;
  • 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

The Methodology note: UK wood imports and exports sets out the data analysis methods used to produce annual estimates of UK wood imports and exports.


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 2013 are final; provisional figures were previously released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2013 provisional figures", available at:$FILE/ukwpt14.pdf

Revisions have been made to some of the 2013 figures: 

  • UK import quantities of sawnwood have been revised from 5,500 to 5,494 thousand m3, and of wood-based panels from 2,962 to 2,963 thousand m3 (Table 3.4).
  • UK export quantities of sawnwood have been revised from 167 to 164 thousand m3 (Table 3.5).
  • UK import values of sawnwood have been revised from £1,181 to £1,179 million, of wood-based panels from £876 to £874 million, of other wood from £85 to £87 million (Table 3.6).

Information on revisions made since "Forestry Statistics 2013" are provided in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2013 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 (

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.

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 2014 will be released in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2014 provisional figures" on 14 May 2015. 

Final trade figures for 2014 will be released in "Forestry Statistics 2015" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2015" on 24 September 2015.

Links to Forestry Statistics 2014