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September 16, 2020

UK market for African hardwoods “recovering well” after lockdown

UK market for African hardwoods “recovering well” after lockdown

The UK market for sawn hardwood has been recovering well following easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures from June onwards. However, there are significant problems on the supply side with COVID-19 contributing to reduced harvesting and mill operations and a significant reduction in freight capacity.

This adds to the pre-existing challenges imposed by too much focus on a limited range of commercially valuable hardwood species in the UK, a feature of the market which sits uncomfortably with the UK’s strong preference for FSC certified material.

These were key messages from the discussion of the current state of the UK and wider international trade in sawn hardwood at the latest quarterly meeting of the London Hardwood Club (LHC) held online on 9 September.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Rupert Walker of Timberlink International who welcomed over 40 LHC members from across the UK as well as members and invited speakers from the USA, Italy, Belgium and other European countries. Speakers included Ken Walsh of Danzer UK, Hank Marcel of Robinson Lumber, Ben Jenn of NHG, and Rupert Green of Greentimber.

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