Imports of tropical sawn timber into the European Union as a whole during the first three quarters of 2015 have risen and it is hoped that early next year we will be able to report that 2015 saw a full twelve month revival.
As we have suggested in the past, this reengaging with hardwoods must in no small degree be down to traceability and sustainability. Architects and end users have more confidence in our industry to manage the environment and by choosing a tropical hardwood they can have confidence that they are not part of the wholesale destruction of some of the world’s most beautiful environments.
A national breakdown of import figures shows that while the Netherlands, Belgium and France increased the volume of landed product Britain, Germany and Italy took less. This suggests an aesthetic reason for the split in demand between the six major countries based on architectural trends rather than a drying up of markets.
While imports in to the E.U. have increased the overall amount of timber which is being exported has dropped. This of course maybe a result of tighter regulation with regard to traceability and that illegal exports are dropping and that the amounts currently exported reflect the legitimate, sustainable, business output.
So is Europe beginning to fall in love again with tropical hardwood?