The volume of timber and panel products imported in Q1 2021 was at its highest in more than a decade, since Q1 2007, the latest Timber Trade Federation (TTF) statistics have shown.

Q1 2021 solid timber and panel product import volumes were 23% higher than Q1 2020, nearing almost 3 million m3 (2,938,000m³) as compared to last year’s 2,396,000m3.

This makes Q1 2021 have the highest volume of imports since Q1 2007 (3,021,000m³), and the third consecutive quarter of record volumes, following Q3 (2,698,000m3) and Q4 (3,123,000m³) 2020.

Based on the strength of demand seen in 2021 it is estimated that the total volume of imports in Q2 2021 could reach 3,300,000m³ and rival the second quarter of 2007 (3,371,000m³).

With demand so strong that even record imports cannot satisfy it, the TTF believes supply is likely to continue to tighten - particularly with Swedish mill stocks the lowest for 20 years.

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has previously warned that these low stock levels will mean the balance between supply and demand is likely to further tighten this summer. 

David Hopkins, CEO of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), said: “These statistics underline that the market is continuing to import unprecedented levels of volume amidst record demand for timber and panel products.

“Since the release of our Market Statement in May, recent reports from our members and the CPA indicate that demand remains strong which will keep supply tight throughout 2021.

“All users of timber must work closely with suppliers on their purchasing strategies, and to take a forward-looking perspective as timber is likely to remain on allocation.”