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Origin of wood imports

Table 3.8 presents data on the source of selected wood products that have been imported into the UK in 2015.

Sawn softwood, particleboard, fibreboard, and paper and paperboard were overwhelmingly imported from EU countries in 2015 (Table 3.8):

  • Sweden (45%), Latvia (16%) and Finland (14%) provided the majority of imports of sawn softwood to the UK.
  • Most particleboard imports to the UK came from Germany (23%), France (21%) and Ireland (14%).
  • Ireland (35%), Germany (21%) and Spain (11%) were the principal sources of fibreboard imports.
  • Most paper and paperboard imports came from Germany (19%), Finland (15%) and Sweden (13%).

Sawn hardwood and wood pulp imports originated from a range of both EU and non-EU countries in 2015:

  • The USA (22%) was the largest single source of sawn hardwood imports to the UK.
  • Brazil (29%) and Sweden (22%) provided around one half of wood pulp imports to the UK.

The vast majority of UK imports of plywood and wood pellets came from countries outwith the EU in 2015:

  • China (49%) and Brazil (19%) were the principal sources of plywood imports to the UK.
  • The USA (53%) and Canada (18%) provided the majority of wood pellet imports to the UK.
Table 3.8 Country of origin of wood imports to the UK, 2015
Source Sawn softwood Sawn hardwood Plywood Particle-board Fibre-board Pellets Wood
pulp
Paper and
paperboard
per cent of total UK imports (volume) in each category
Germany 5 5 0 23 21 0 2 19
Sweden 45 1 0 0 0 0 22 13
Finland 14 1 7 0 1 0 5 15
France 0 7 1 21 1 0 0 7
Italy 0 11 0 1 0 0 1 4
Latvia 16 6 1 12 4 15 0 0
Ireland 6 1 0 14 35 0 0 1
Belgium 1 1 1 12 10 0 0 3
Austria 0 1 1 1 1 0 16 2
Spain 0 0 1 3 11 0 1 1
Estonia 2 10 0 0 1 5 0 0
Other EU-28 2 11 2 11 9 7 12 10
Total EU-28 92 55 14 100 93 28 60 78
China 0 0 49 0 4 0 0 3
USA 0 22 0 0 0 53 2 3
Brazil 0 0 19 0 0 0 29 2
Canada 1 4 1 0 0 18 0 2
Russia 6 1 5 0 0 0 0 1
Malaysia 0 4 6 0 0 0 0 0
Other non-EU 1 18 6 0 2 0 9 11
Total non-EU 8 45 86 0 7 72 40 22

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 since 1993.

Figure 3.2 Country of origin of sawn softwood imports to the UK, 1962-2015

fs2016fig3-2.png

Source: FAO, UK overseas trade statistics (HM Revenue & Customs), industry associations.

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