UK and international timber traders gathered in strong numbers for Timber Development UK’s Global Market Conference in London on Wednesday at a time of difficult market dynamics. A noticeably downbeat market sentiment was palpable at the event due to low timber product demand and prices, coupled with a number of other strong economic headwinds. Sawmillers from Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Scotland shared their thoughts on current and future market dynamics. Speaker Olle Berg, of Setra Group, said from May 2023 onwards it has been a case of price decreases and reduced production. But he suggested prices were likely now at their bottom and may increase in the coming months due to various factors – something he acknowledged would cause tension in the low demand environment. Wood consumption, he said, would remain weak in 2024 – essentially unchanged from 2023. “The single biggest problem for wood consumption is interest rates,” he said.