Builders' Merchants News

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Timber demand at lowest level since 1958

Published:  26 October, 2009

LONDON: The release of the Timber Trade Federation's 2008 Statistical Review confirms what many sectors of the trade already suspected: last year the UK timber industry experienced its worst conditions in more than 50 years.

The UK's entrance into recession at the start of 2008 was reflected in a decline in construction, in particular housebuilding, which resulted in a sharp fall in demand for timber imports.

In the second half of 2008, the volume of imports was down by 25% on 2007, levels not seen since 1958, while consumption value of timber and panel products in 2008 was down 20% on 2007.

By the final quarter of 2008, the industry witnessed some of the lowest volumes of imported timber and panels on record.

TTF chief executive, John White, said: "2008 is likely to be remembered as one of the worst years in living memory for many in the timber industry. With more than half of 2009 out of the way it is fair to say things are finally looking a lot brighter, but nervousness about the final quarter remains.

"The TTF will continue to support growth and development throughout the timber industry during these uncertain times," he added.

A copy of the 2008 TTF Statistical Review can be downloaded from the TTF website.