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Trade

Introduction

This chapter contains information about UK imports and exports of wood products, and about the level of apparent consumption estimated from data for UK production, imports and exports.

Information on imports and exports mainly comes from the Overseas Trade Statistics compiled by HM Revenue & Customs.  Estimates are provided at a UK level only. International comparisons of apparent consumption are provided in the International Forestry chapter.  Further information on the data sources and methodology used to compile the figures is provided in the Sources chapter.

Figures for 2018 were previously published in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2018 Provisional Figures", released on 16 May 2019.  Some figures for 2018 and earlier years have been revised from those previously published.  For further details on revisions, see the Trade section of the Sources chapter.

A copy of all trade tables can be accessed in spreadsheet format from the Data Downloads web page at https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/data-downloads/.

Key findings

The main findings are:

UK imports:

  • 7.2 million cubic metres of sawnwood in 2018, a 6% decrease from the 2017 figure;
  • 3.9 million cubic metres of wood-based panels in 2018, a 2% increase from 2017;
  • 8.0 million tonnes of wood pellets in 2018, a 16% increase from 2017;
  • 5.5 million tonnes of paper in 2018, a 2% decrease from 2017.
  • The total value of wood product imports in 2018 was £8.3 billion, representing a 5% increase from 2017; of which £4.1 billion was pulp and paper.
  • Sawn softwood, particleboard, fibreboard, and paper and paperboard were overwhelmingly imported from EU countries in 2018.
  • Sawn hardwood and wood pulp imports originated from a range of both EU and non-EU countries in 2018.
  • The vast majority of UK imports of plywood and wood pellets in 2018 came from countries outwith the EU.
  • Apparent consumption of wood in the UK was 56.4 million m3 WRME underbark in 2018, representing a 1% decrease on the previous year.

UK exports:

  • The total value of wood product exports in 2018 was £1.8 billion, a 3% decrease from 2017; of which £1.6 billion was pulp and paper.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Trade

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