TTF News
UK Softwood Conference 2018 – Highlights
13th March 2018

Softwood Conference 2018

UK Softwood Conference 2018 – Highlights

On Tuesday 7th March 2018, over 120 leading suppliers, importers and traders of softwood products across the UK and Europe gathered at the UK Softwood Conference 2018 held in the magnificent venue of 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.

The event – formerly known as Shippers’ Breakfast Meeting – was sponsored by Currencies Direct and offered a comprehensive overview of the global softwood market.


David Hopkins, TTF Managing Director, welcomed the attendees and introduced the speakers of the event. David also underlined how events like the UK Softwood Conference 2018 can help stimulate the debate and raise awareness on key market dynamics.


Nick Moore, from Timber Trends, delivered his presentation on the UK Softwood Imports & Consumption 2017 providing information about the current state future outlook of the UK softwood market. In the outlined scenario, Brexit is set to represent a major issue for the trade considering that around 92% of softwood imported to the UK comes from EU countries.

Download the presentation here.

 Listen to the presentation here.


The second speaker of the Conference was Sampsa Auvinen, Chief Executive Officer of Norvik Timber Industries and Chairman of the European Organisation of Sawmill Industries (EOS). Mr Auvinen discussed trends and developments across the EU softwood production industry underlining the shift of European softwood exports towards Asian markets, such as China and India.

Download the presentation here.

Listen to the presentation here.


Attendees also heard from Keith Ainslie, National Softwood Division (NSD) Chairman and Sales Manager at James Johns & Sons Ltd, who commented on the performance of the internal UK sawmill sector in 2017-18. According to Mr Ainslie, high prices, raw materials scarcity and adverse weather conditions have affected the Industry causing concerns among operators and traders.

Download the presentation here.

Listen to the presentation here.


The Conference proceeded with a panel discussion involving leading suppliers to the UK, such as Sweden, Latvia, Germany and Finland. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions to the panellists and express opinions on issues like Brexit, supply sources, sales trends and market forecasts.

During the debate, TTF MD David Hopkins highlighted the work the TTF has undertaken – in conjunction with major trade organisations across the UK timber industry – to ensure the transition towards a post-Brexit economy is as smooth as possible. This includes keeping high quality standards and regulations (EUTR), negotiating a mutually beneficial customs arrangement with the EU and lobbying the government on VAT upfront payment.


Price development across the global UK softwood market was also the topic illustrated in details by Heikki Vidgren, Senior Consultant at Pöyry Management Consulting. Mr Vidgren showed how global demand of softwood timber has peaked in the past two years and is expected to grow even more until 2022. These forecasts open key questions on raw material availability and challenges in infrastructure, logistics and harvesting.

Download the presentation here.

Listen to the presentation here.


The event closed with a focus on the UK housing market. Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the Construction Products Association (CPA) emphasised the necessity of driving investment on skills/capacity for labour and new products in order to reach the 300,000 new homes per-year target by mid-2020s.

Download the Presentation here.

Listen to the presentation here.


The conference was a great opportunity for everyone to network with stakeholders from across all areas of the European softwood industry.


The TTF would like to thank everyone who attended our UK Softwood Conference 2018. You helped us make the event a shining success! Please make sure you visit the TTF website for insights on the UK timber trade industry. Also, check out our Flickr account for the complete Conference’s photo gallery!

UK Softwood Conference 2018