Industry News

TTF reaction to Brexit vote: Monitoring market volatility and supporting the EUTR

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has assured that the new scenario post-Brexit vote won't affect projects and strategy of the Federation.

In particular the Federation has pledged to monitor market volatility and keep supporting the EU Timber Trade Regulation (EUTR).

In a statement issued this morning, Mr Hopkins underlined that "the TTF will continue working with all European trade association partners to reassure them that the UK is still a strong market which is very much open for business, and that we will maintain strong market relations regardless of volatility."

"We have also been in contact with the Government, its agencies and enforcement bodies, the European Commission and others. On this, I would like to remind all members that EUTR is now a matter of UK law – regardless of the EU initials at the front! – and is still being enforced in the UK and across the EU. It is a sensible risk-based regulation and an approach we continue to support", he added.

TTF Managing Director also highlighted that "regardless of last week’s vote, it is inconceivable that the UK will want to be seen to be weakening rules against illegal logging. From formal and informal discussions we’ve had with UK officials the mood seems to be to prove that the UK can continue with strong regime of environmental regulation, whether in or out of EU." Similarly, TTF members and contractors "will be maintaining the strictest environmental and responsible sourcing standards regardless of the UK position in EU."

Mr Hopkins concluded his note with an appeal to unity and collaboration within the UK timber industry: "We have been in regular close contact with all of our UK timber trade association partners including the BWF and STA. Together we are working as the CTI to ensure that we maintain a strong, united, timber voice in the ensuing debate.

Our parliamentary and public affairs work will be focused on improving education & training, expanding our timber manufacturing base and putting skilled timber jobs back at the heart of the construction sector and our communities.

In or out of Europe, we must now work together to give us the best chance of a successful future.”


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ETTF Newsletter for Spring / Summer 2016 is out

The European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) has released its Newsletter for Spring / Summer 2016.

The Newsletter includes latest news from the Federation itself and members across Europe, opinion from the timber sector worldwide and latest EU trade analysis and statistics.

This edition reports on the upcoming International Softwood Conference in Paris, the prospective launch of Green Deal II in the Netherlands and the impact of Italy’s decision to increase the percentage of certified wood products required in public projects.

Recently appointed UK Timber Trade Federation Director David Hopkins discusses his plans for the organization and optimism for the industry’s prospects, and Viewpoint articles come from AHEC European Director David Venables, IDH Tropical Timber Programme Senior Manager Nienke Stam, and World Forest Congress Youth Coordinator Yemi Adeyeye.

The Newsletter also features an article on CTI inaugural Conference to take place on 26 October 2016 in Westminster.

Download the Newsletter here.


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New survey launched to tailor EUTR due diligence training

The environmental NGO NEPCon has launched a new survey - accessible here - to help shape training for small and medium-sized enterprises on how to meet the due diligence requirements under the EU Timber Regulation.  

NEPCon is developing the training under an EU-funded small- and medium-sized enterprises training Project. The goal of this initiative is to ensure consistent implementation of the EU Timber Regulation among the European Union’s thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The project package contains over 40 national risk assessments devolved by forest legality experts that provide detailed risk information about timber-exporting countries. In addition, user-friendly tools on using the risk data, understanding the EUTR requirements and setting up a proper due diligence system are on the way. Forest legality experts will share all this with you in training courses where you can get expert support in setting up your own due diligence system.

Currently 12 EU states - Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Hungary and Spain - have agreed to host the training sessions.

For more information, contact Dorte R. Ballermann at [email protected].


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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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EU Referendum: Timber traders back Remain vote, TTF survey shows

The results of the latest survey run by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) among its members show a strong support for the UK to remain in the European Union.

According to the poll, 76 % of the respondents think the UK should stay in the EU, while 16% are in favour of leaving.

Considering the impact on the UK economy as a whole, 80% of the respondents believe the UK will benefit from remaining in the European Union, while 11% indicate ‘Brexit’ as the best solution.

In details, survey participants express concern about the uncertain economical and political scenario following a possible exit from the EU. Remarkably, comments stress how the replacement of European standards and regulations could affect UK trade over the coming years.

Respondents also highlight the necessity of a reformed EU where benefits and responsibilities are distributed more equally among member states.

“The TTF is not taking an official position on the referendum either way, but this survey gives an unequivocal view from the Members. It is perhaps unsurprising that uncertainty and lack of clarity from the Brexit camp about what leaving the EU would achieve does not impress a business sector for whom the EU is their biggest trading partner", says David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation. 

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