The TTF has written to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which supplied the quota import statistics, to raise questions about volumes declared from China and Malaysia.

Coniferous Plywood Quota allocations from China totalled 19,080m3 this year (2012: 12,299m3), while Malaysia re-appeared on the quota (1,081m3) after a 2012 which saw no product from the country declared.

The TTF reiterated that traders should only declare products under the quota if they are fully coniferous throughout plywood. It said Chinese product featuring poplar did not qualify under the quota.

The TTF said the reasons for the declarations possibly included trader ignorance about poplar, mistakes in quota declarations or traders deliberately misdeclaring product.

With less red-faced hardwoods being used as veneers, the TTF said it was possible some traders were making assumptions that the paler poplar face veneers were softwood.