Industry News

UK Wood Production and Exports in decline, Forestry Commission reports

The Forestry Commission has released provisional figures on UK wood production and trade for 2015 including data on production, imports and exports of roundwood (logs) and wood products for the UK.

The statistics show a marked decline in UK production of sawnwood (-7%), paper and paperboard (-10%).

Similarly, the UK saw a fall in roundwood harvesting (-6%) and deliveries to sawmills (-8%)

The reduced internal supply of wood products was compensated by a growth in imports, widening the UK trade deficit.

In 2015 the total value of wood product imports was £7.5 billion (+5%), of which £4.4 billion was pulp and paper (+4%), while the overall value of wood product exports was £1.6 billion (-5%).

The Forestry Commission Statistics also show a peak in wood pellets imports (+38%) reaching a record volume of 9.7 million cubic metres.

Read the complete report here.


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Wood-derived ingredients could be soon used in common food products

According to the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, wood-derived ingredients could be utilised in the manufacture of products such as yoghurt, baked goods and meat products.

Studies conducted by VTT have shown that xylan, fibrillated cellulose and lignin have properties that allow them to replace traditionally used ingredients.

Xylan, a hemicellulose extracted from birch pulp, could be used as texture enhancer in yoghurt. Compared to conventional manufacturing techniques, VTT's studies showed that xylan improved the smoothness of yoghurt. The texture was also more stable: no separation of water from the yoghurt gel was observed in the tests. VTT tested xylan in yoghurt at concentrations of 1.5% and 3%. Enzymatically hydrolysed xylan worked better at the lower concentration.

Another exciting wood-derived ingredient for modifying texture is fibrillated cellulose, which is produced by wet-grinding cellulose fibers. It is particularly useful for its ability to bind water at low concentration and form a web-like gel. Fibrillated cellulose could be utilised as thickening and stabilising agent for instance in fermented dairy products, such as yoghurt.  In VTT's in vitro digestion model it has also been observed that fibrillated cellulose binds free bile acids, which is an indication of potential cholesterol lowering effect in the human body.

Finally, the surface-active properties of lignin could be utilised to prepare emulsions (mixtures of water and oil) and foams with improved texture. Lignin could also be used to reduce oxidation in food products.

For more information, it's possible to contact Anna-Marja Aura, Principal Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.


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Timbmet MD Nigel Cox is the new BMBI Expert for timber and panel products

Timbmet Managing Director Nigel Cox has joined the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) as the Expert for Timber and Panel Products. Featuring from Q1 2016 report, Mr Cox (in the picture on the left) will focus on timber and panel products market, explaining issues, trends, and new opportunities.

Launched in 2015 by MRA Marketing, under the aegis of the Builders’ Merchant Federation (BMF), the BMBI offers data from GFK’s General Builders’ Merchant Panel with input from national and regional builders’ merchants accounting for over 80% of industry sales. 

Nigel Cox commented: “We are pleased to join the BMBI as the Expert for our market. It’s a great initiative to raise awareness of our industry to a wide audience. BMBI provides a platform for Experts to educate, inform and explain their own markets and add perspective to overall trends and issues. I’m excited about the plans to develop BMBI and pleased that Timbmet is speaking exclusively for Timber and Panel Products.”

BMF Managing Director John Newcomb added: “It’s great to have Timbmet on board. Their support endorses the growing awareness and significance of BMBI to our industry. We’ve only just scratched the surface with our plans to develop understanding of our markets and leading brands outside the industry.” 

Timbmet is a leading national supplier and distributor of hardwood timber, engineered timber and panel products. Other BMBI Experts include: Knauf Insulation, Keylite, Hanson Cement, Keystone Lintels, Crystal Direct, IKO PLC and Alumasc Water Management Solutions.


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China to become main destination for Russian timber exports, WRQ reports

As reported by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), Russian timber exports declined for the second consecutive quarter in the 1Q/16 with reduced shipments to Europe, the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and Egypt.

According to Wood Resources International, Europe has become a less important market for the Russian timber industry over the past ten years. Not only has the European slice of the total export pie diminished, but the total Russian export volumes the past few years have also been lower than in the past. In 2005, one-third of Russian timber export volumes were destined for Europe (mainly the UK, Germany and Estonia), while only 12 percent of the total exports entered the European market in 2015.

The dramatic change in shipments has mainly been the increase in demand for timber in the Chinese market. From 2005 to 2015, exports from Russia to China were up from less than one million m3 to almost ten million m3, a majority of which was pine lumber from sawmills in Siberia and Russia’s Far East. 

At the same time, export prices have fallen quite substantially in US dollar terms the past two years as values in Ruble terms were close to record high levels in the 1Q/16.


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TTJ Innovation Awards: Call for entries to close on 30 June

The deadline of June 30 is fast approaching for entries into this year’s TTJ Timber Innovation Awards, co-sponsored by TRADA and Timber Expo.

This year’s Award - to take place on September 30th at The Brewery in London - is split into two categories: Innovative Product Development and a new category, Innovative University Timber Research.

The winners of the Timber Innovation Award will benefit from an array of marketing benefits and the kudos of being the winner of an award that really pushes the boundaries in timber development.

Winners will be unveiled at the prestigious TTJ Awards dinner, attended by all the major players in the industry. The winning entry will also be acknowledged at Timber Expo 2016.

The Timber Innovation Award is part of the annual TTJ Awards which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary with a special event at a new location.

Commenting on this year’s TIA Rupert Scott, TRADA’s Membership & Marketing Manager, said: “The Timber Innovation Award provides an excellent platform to demonstrate the high levels of innovation within the timber industry today.”

For more information on entering the TTJ Timber Innovation Awards, please click here.


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