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October 13, 2016

No Brexit effects on UK softwood timber imports yet

No Brexit effects on UK softwood timber imports yet

United Kingdom' s softwood timber imports grew by 5% during January-July 2016, as compared to the same period last year.

The UK imported 3,7 million m3 of softwood timber from thw world and most of them came from the European Union countries. The EU countries exported 3,4 million m3 to the UK, 6% more than in the mentioned period from 2015.

Sweden was the top timber exporter for the UK, with a volume of 1,6 million m3. This represented a 8% increase over January-July 2016. UK's timber imports from Latvia grew too, by 17%, reaching 577,000 m3, while the imports from Finland remained slightly the same, at 490,000 m3.

All in all, UK's softwood timber imports weren't affected by the Brexit yet. Forecasts concluded that the vote of the UK leaving the EU might affect these imports in the second half of the year, due to the exchange rate. A sharp slowdown in the imports might be visible in September.

Moreover, Setra, one of the major construction softwood suppliers for the UK, said that this would bring a lot of uncertainty and unease in the short-term, as the UK is one of the largest export markets for the Swedish company. Also, with the UK being the largest export market for sawn timber products, the Swedish export market faces uncertainty regarding the exchange rates, which could affect the forest industry.

TOP 10 Origins

Softwood Timber imported by United Kingdom from... (in cbm )

Origin I-VII 2015 I-VII 2016 Change in %
EUROPEAN Union
3,252,478 3,452,759 6 %
Sweden
1,500,762 1,617,477 8 %
Latvia
495,136 577,707 17 %
Finland
492,809 490,557 0 %
Germany
221,897 233,421 5 %
Ireland
195,953 200,723 2 %
Others
345,921 332,874 -4 %
OTHER European Countries
287,223 251,261 -13 %
Russia
213,670 216,688 1 %
Norway
73,117 34,288 -53 %
Belarus
238 218 -8 %
NORTH America
37,958 34,034 -10 %
Canada
32,118 27,613 -14 %
USA
5,840 6,421 10 %
TOTAL 3,581,121 3,743,638 5 %

 HS Code: 440710; Data source: Eurostat

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