A hard Brexit could unleash a perfect storm on Ireland’s forestry sector.
Almost 80% of wood-based panel exports and 70% of sawn timber exports go to the UK.
And markets could come under pressure from an anticipated increase in roundwood supply over the next two decades, from a current annual production of almost four million cubic metres to eight million by 2035.
“Most of this increase is expected to come from private forestry owners, and the current expectations are that the vast majority of the timber is destined for the UK market,” said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed last week, answering a Dail question from Wicklow Fianna Fail TD Stephen Donnelly.
Mr Creed said the Government remains focused on supporting the forestry sector through the challenges ahead, including those related to competitiveness, potential extra competition, and reduced demand from the UK market.