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Strong future for wood predicted

Potential market demand for recycled wood products is better than ever according to new research by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

The aim of the study, entitled Emerging higher value markets for recycled wood products , was to identify the size of end-product markets into which recycled wood products could be sold, and to explain trends in consumption and production.

WRAP found that within the animal bedding sector, cattle bedding remained the largest market, with an estimated volume of 3-4 million tonnes in 2004. Equine and poultry bedding had lower tonnages but remained substantial markets, with values of £65 million and £35 million respectively. They were also the highest value markets: equine bedding averages £132-£144 per tonne and poultry bedding averages £90-£100 per tonne.

About 75-85,000 tonnes of material goes into the manufacture of equestrian surface products each year, with a value of between £4-7 million. But while wood-based products make up about 30-35% of this market, the recycled wood product component is only a small share. WRAP predicts this sector will grow in the coming years, reaching a market value of £5-6 million in 2010.

WRAP wood materials sector manager Tom Fourcade said: "This report identifies a wealth of opportunities for companies looking to generate more value from recycled wood and highlights some exciting opportunities for market development within the animal products, landscaping and horticultural sectors."

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