The Spring meeting of the Scottish Timber Trade Association (STTA) was held recently in Stirling. A very large number of Members, drawn from timber merchants, sawmillers, agents, hardwood, softwood, sheet materials and joinery specialists attended. STTA’s membership, which continues to increase, is estimated to account for at least 70% of the timber trade in Scotland.

As is customary, the meeting provided updates from the softwood, hardwood and sheet materials sectors, with commentators highlighting the impact of significant exchange rate changes. A cautionary note was sounded in relation to Chinese plywood, as variable quality in terms of manufacturing  standards,  veneer species etc, remains a  concern for many UK buyers and the advice  remains ‘buyer beware’ and to trade with reputable plywood specialists.

STTA also received a presentation from Ian Pirie, Joint Managing Director of James Jones & Sons Ltd, who described the continuing development of the domestic sawmilling sector to good effect. In addition, Members also received a fascinating insight into the work of the Bank of England from Iain Duff, the Bank of England’s Deputy Agent for Scotland. Iain gave a very informative account of the Bank’s work, including its inflation and growth forecasting and reports.

STTA President, Iain Torrance, (James Donaldson Timber Ltd), said, “We are determined to ensure that our meetings provide Members with up to date and relevant information. We were delighted to see so many Members at the meeting, especially a large number of younger members of the trade. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for updating and networking, which is invaluable and our guest speakers gave us informative insights into the British-grown timber sector and the Bank of England, which was especially relevant given the importance of currency matters and the continued volatility of the market; we all learnt a great deal”.