The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has released a market statement to put the current demand and supply situation into context.

The report takes a look at the data on volume and average cost price of softwood per cubic metre over the last three years. These statistics show more softwood was imported into the UK in 2020 (6,608) than in either 2019 (6,394) or 2018 (6,594), (the figures for these years are shown in 000s of cubic metres).

In addition to this data, the statement explores where the timber market is now, how we arrived in our current situation, and takes a look towards the future of the market.

Factors considered in the statement include the stockpiling of timber ahead of previous Brexit attempts, the lockdowns, and the policy actions of the Government to counter COVID-19.

TTF chief executive David Hopkins said: “We hope by sharing this information it may help our members in their conversations and business activity by placing our current situation into a wider context.

“In our view the market position should be phrased as a demand rather than as a supply situation. Timber is still being imported and produced at high volumes.

“However, the surge in demand for construction materials this year means customers may not be able to purchase timber as readily off the shelves as they have been used to.

“We advise users of timber to work closely with suppliers on their purchasing strategies, and to take a forward-looking perspective on securing supplies.

“This approach will remain important, as recent reports have shown we can expect demand to continue to be high, particularly for structural and other softwood materials.

“We also know that traditionally sawmills in Europe normally enter a period of shut-down for repair, maintenance and holidays in June and July, and this will keep supply tight.”

-> TTF's Market Statement: Timber demand and supply in the UK