Improvements in quality, presentation of UK-grown timber, construction growth, are leading to increasing acceptance by specifiers and users, says UK forestry company UPM Tilhill, predicts 'robust' 12 months for industry in latest timber bulletin

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Jul 18, 2014 – UPM TIlhill

STIRLING, U.K. , July 16, 2014 (press release) – The latest UPM Tilhill Timber Bulletin takes an in-depth look at the main drivers affecting the UK timber industry both at home and abroad, as well as providing analysis of trends and pricing forecasts.

The report considers that the economic recovery has helped boost the UK forest industry since the last edition of the Timber Bulletin in July 2013 and that the increase in construction has had an impact on the demand and price of timber.

UPM Tilhill’s Director Timber Operations Peter Whitfield explains: “Looking ahead, we anticipate that the market will continue to be robust and over the next 12 months we should enjoy a continued strong demand for roundwood and all associated wood and timber products.”

Other good news includes the increasing acceptance of UK sawn timber by specifiers and users which means the industry hasn’t been as susceptible to exchange rate fluctuations as in the past.

Peter added: “There have been massive improvements in quality and presentation of timber and this combined with faster production, flexibility and the investment the industry has made in new, cutting-edge technology have all encouraged the buying of UK timber. In 2013 domestic timber fulfilled 40 per cent of the UK’s needs – we hope that figure will continue to increase.”

To meet the UK’s demand for timber, the report explains that imports have increased over the past year and analyses the shift in export markets with Sweden and Finland exporting significantly more to China and Japan respectively.

The price being paid for all types of roundwood has increased steeply with small roundwood prices growing at a faster pace than sawlogs over the last six to seven years. Biomass requirements have also contributed to the rise along with demand from board processors.

Returns to forest owners have continued to rise as standing sale prices increase.

Also mentioned in the report is The Forestry Commission’s 50-year availability forecast which clearly demonstrates the hole in availability that becomes evident after 2031. Concern is expressed about this and the report calls for urgent action to encourage new planting of commercial conifers and to halt or reduce the reduction in area of existing conifer forests.

On the issue of disease, the spread of P.ramorum in Larch continues although, on current evidence, at a slower rate than previous years. The report says the industry has reacted positively to the outbreak and geared up to use the infected material well. Threats from pests and diseases added to climate change and the 50 year forecast ‘hole’ all bring a much stronger focus onto alternatives species and what this will mean for the industry in the years ahead.

For a printed copy of the UPM Tilhill Timber Bulletin 2014, please contact UPM Tilhill on 0800 328 2128 or download a pdf from here: Timber Bulletin 2014 

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