Softwood imports to Italy 2015 1% down

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Italian softwood imports fell 1% overall in 2015, with a 3% decrease from lead supplier Austria offset by upturns from Finland, France and Latvia as the ETTF (European Timber Trade Federation reports in its latest newsletter. Non-EU suppliers' import share was under 12%, with rises from Bosnia and Belarus, but shrinkage from Russia.

Analyst Istat reported laminated timber imports were stable, with decreases from some suppliers, but a 3% upturn from Austria. However export data from Austria seems at odds with this, showing a 9% fall.

Tropical timber imports were static overall, despite a 30% fall from Gabon. But the total of 160,000m3 was still 240,000m3 lower than pre-crisis levels. Temperate sawn hardwoods were 4% down.

News on wood-based panels was better, with OSB imports 16% up MDF panels 8% and plywood 4%, driven particularly by okoume from France and Gabon.

Veneer imports increased 4%, softwood logs fell 17% and temperate hardwoods 1.25%. Tropical hardwood log imports rose 116%, but from a 2014 low.

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