The long drawn-out process of the UK breaking ties with the EU, which started with the referendum of July 2016, is finally in the endgame. Since formally leaving the bloc on 31 January 2020, the UK’s relationship with the EU has been governed by the Withdrawal Agreement. This has allowed the UK to continue on the same terms it had with the EU prior to departure during a so-called `transition period’.
This transition period will come to an end on 31st December and it is only then that the full impact of the UK’s departure from the EU, which so far has been muted by the transition arrangements, not to mention the pressing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, will become apparent.
Continue reading “Major Implications for Timber Trade as Brexit Enters the Endgame. ITTO European Market Report 15th December 2020”
The UK hardwood trade may not be back to normal, and there is continuing anxiety about the effect of a second COVID-19 wave, but the sector has seen sales improving since May. This is according to the latest November/December 2020 hardwood market report in the UK Timber Trades Journal (TTJ – www.ttjonline.com ).
“In April we were at 40% of normal turnover, but we hit 60% in May, 80% in June and July was a good month, not on budget, but ahead of last year,” said a UK importer-distributor. “It’s not business as usual yet, but we’re in a better place than anticipated four months ago.”
Continue reading “TTJ Reports UK Hardwood Sales Improving. ITTO European Market Report 30th November 2020”
UK imports of tropical wood and wood furniture products continued to rebound in September, with total value rising to USD97.6 million, 30% more than the previous month and the same level as in September 2019 (Chart 1). UK imports strengthened significantly in the third quarter, in line with the recovery in the broader economy and in construction activity and the housing market as lockdown measures eased during the period.
Continue reading “Rebound in UK Imports Continued in September but Prospects Less Certain. ITTO European Market Report 15th November 2020”
EU27 tropical timber imports are stronger than expected so far in 2020. The total EU27 (i.e. excluding the UK) import value of tropical wood and wood furniture products was US$1.98 billion between January and August this year, 14% less than in 2019. This is a significantly higher level of import than forecast earlier in the year with the “Great Lockdown” having a severe impact on the wider EU27 economy and on the supply side in tropical countries. The fact that EU27 trade in tropical wood timber products was cooling even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic makes this performance more remarkable.
Continue reading “EU27 Tropical Timber Imports Stronger Than Expected So Far In 2020. ITTO European Market Report 31st October 2020”
After a sharp fall in UK imports of tropical timber products in May and June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, imports rebounded strongly in July and made more gains in August. However, even in August, total imports were still down around 15% compared to the same month the previous year (Chart 1).
Continue reading “UK Tropical Timber Trade Rebounds Strongly in July and August. ITTO European Market Report 15th October 2020”
EU plywood trade is cautious, but Covid recovery is faster than expected. It’s still too early to say for sure, but it’s variously estimated by European plywood importers and distributors that the Covid-19 pandemic will slice 10-20% off their 2020 bottom line. Trade has since seen a bounce back, varying in degree from country to country, but companies don’t expect it to make up for the sales lost when the health crisis first hit.
The UK market for sawn African hardwood has been recovering well following easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures from June onwards. However, there are significant problems on the supply side with COVID-19 contributing to reduced harvesting and mill operations and a significant reduction in freight capacity.
This adds to the pre-existing challenges imposed by too much focus on a limited range of commercially valuable hardwood species in the UK, a feature of the market which sits uncomfortably with the UK’s strong preference for FSC certified material.
Continue reading “UK Market For African Hardwood “Recovering Well” After Lockdown. ITTO European Market Report 15th September 2020″
The downturn in EU imports of tropical wood and wood furniture products during the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic may be less severe than first forecast. As expected, EU27 (i.e. excluding the UK) tropical wood and wood furniture product imports fell sharply in May in response to supply side problems and the lockdown measures in most of the main EU markets, losing around one third of value against the five-year average for the month.
Continue reading “COVID-19 Downturn in EU27 Tropical Imports May Be Less Severe Than First Forecast – ITTO European Market Report 31st August 2020”
Newly released Eurostat data indicates that the value of EU27+UK wood furniture production was €42.5 billion in 2019, 1.4% less than the previous year. In retrospect, it looks as if the rebound in EU wood furniture production following the 2008 economic crises peaked as early as 2017, as 2019 was the second straight year of decline and the COVID-19 pandemic has damaged market prospects in 2020. Last year, EU wood furniture production was still 20% down, in real terms adjusted for inflation, compared to the years just prior to the 2008 crises.
Continue reading “EU Wood Furniture Market: Sliding Before COVID-19 Pandemic – ITTO European Market Report 15th August 2020”
As expected, following the UK lockdown in response to COVID-19 introduced on 24th March and allowing for the long lead time in the tropical trade, there was a very sharp decline in UK imports of tropical timber products in May. The total value of UK imports of all tropical wood (HS 44) and wood furniture (HS 94) products during the month was just over US$50 million, only half the value typical in what is usually one the busiest months of the year for the UK trade (Chart 1).
Continue reading “Half UK Tropical Timber Trade Value Lost in May – ITTO European Market Report 30th July 2020”