New TDUK Trade Note: Coniferous Plywood data concerns

Timber Development UK uses the latest timber import data, published by HM Revenue & Customs, to collate and release monthly updates on timber imports to the UK, to help TDUK members better understand the market and make informed decisions for their businesses. According to the most recently released HMRC statistics, softwood plywood imports have experienced a 23.8% fall compared with January-February 2023 – the worst start to a year for softwood plywoods since 2012.

However, TDUK is concerned these figures are not being reflected in the current Coniferous Plywood quota – which as of 2 May 2024 currently only has 4% remaining. 

The 2024 Coniferous Plywood quota has now reached critical levels, 11 weeks and 62,145m3 ahead of the declarations seen in 2023. Given that the construction climate in the UK is much worse than was experienced during this period in 2023, and the supply situation for Coniferous Plywood is potentially even more restricted, we believe there must be a significant error in the declarations made. 

 Such an error in the Coniferous Plywood declarations, unless urgently investigated and corrected, may prevent legitimate traders from continuing to make provisional declarations against the quota, meaning that they could not benefit should it be determined that a correction to quota volume be required at a later date. This could have significant commercial implications for the companies involved.

We have raised a challenge with HMRC to resolve this clear discrepancy between the trends apparent in their import statistics and the remaining quota, and are continuing to stress this matter with the relevant authorities. We will be closely monitoring these statistics and will update our members on HMRC’s response as soon as possible.

TDUK members can login and read the full trade note online here.