UK imports feel the sting of war in Ukraine

“As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, the imposition of trade actions and government sanctions will have an effect on the importing of forest products”

Western countries and the commercial and financial institutions they house are increasing their response to Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine. And the forest products industry is following suit. Not only have timber and timber products produced by Russia and Belarus (its ally) fallen under legal sanctions, but a number of importers are refusing new contracts to bring them into the UK.

There is also an embargo on the discharge of Russian-owned shipping at UK ports, meaning a number of vessels carrying commodities like timber and oil have been redirected from the UK to other international ports.

The result of these measures will be shortage of raw materials in the softwood market which has previously been supplied by Russia and Belarus, as well as countries that supply products made with softwood fibre that comes from them. That will include many of the Baltic states, such as Latvia, the UK’s second-largest processed softwood supplier. Overall, the embargo on Russian and Belarusian softwood will remove about 1 million m3 from the Baltic supply chain.

Another factor that will stymie importers is the removal of accreditation certifications by the PEFC and the FSC. As long as these certifications are not available to timber from Russia and Belarus, these countries’ exports are essentially contraband.

For the moment, Quercus still has a healthy supply of softwood in stock. If you are looking to source some softwood for a project you’re working on, call us on 0845 50 50 311 – but don’t leave it too long. The UK’s supply of softwood will likely feel the pinch later in the year.