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3: 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 2020 were previously published in "UK Wood Production and Trade: 2020 Provisional Figures", released on 13 May 2021.  Some figures for 2020 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 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 2020, a 3% increase from 2019;
  • 3.3 million cubic metres of wood-based panels in 2020, a 10% decrease from 2019;
  • 9.1 million tonnes of wood pellets in 2020, an increase of 2% from 2019;
  • 4.4 million tonnes of paper in 2020, a 14% decrease from 2019.
  • The total value of wood product imports in 2020 was £7.5 billion, representing a 10% decrease from 2019; of which £3.4 billion was pulp and paper.
  • Sawn softwood, particleboard, fibreboard, and paper and paperboard were overwhelmingly imported from EU countries in 2020.
  • Sawn hardwood and wood pulp imports originated from a range of both EU and non-EU countries in 2020.
  • The vast majority of UK imports of plywood and wood pellets in 2020 came from countries outside the EU.
  • Apparent consumption of wood in the UK was 54.8 million m3 wood raw material equivalent underbark in 2020, representing a 1% decrease from the previous year.

UK exports:

  • The total value of wood product exports in 2020 was £1.5 billion, a 10% decrease from 2019; of which £1.3 billion was pulp and paper.

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FS2021: Trade

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FS2021: Trade tables

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FS2021: Trade tables

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Chapter 3 tables in OpenDocument Spreadsheet format

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