China slowdown sees 13.3% decline in 2015 log imports

China’s construction slump and economic recession have seen total log imports fall 13.3% to 44.57 million m3, with the U.S. experiencing the biggest decline in softwood log exports (-2.0 million m3), followed by New Zealand (-1.2 million m3) and Russia (-1.0 million m3), according to figures released by China Customs.

The Mainland’s total lumber imports on the other hand rose 3.8% to 26.62 million m3. Russia saw the biggest increment (+1.6 million m3) while Canada had the largest decline (-1.0 million m3).

In its monthly China Bulletin, an analysis published by Vancouver-based consultancy International Wood Markets Group, a weakening real estate sector, lower currency rates and tighter credit have also impacted international export volumes to China. While the demand in the furniture and decoration markets has remained more stable, the net effect has had a greater impact on log exporters.

The Bulletin highlights log and lumber import  figures for 2015 (as compared to 2014) as follows:

Softwood Logs:

  • Total softwood log imports fell 16.7% to 29.74 million m3
  • New Zealand was the leading supplier (-10.2% to 10.39 million m3), followed by Russia (-10.2% to 8.99 million m3).
  • Japan saw the largest percentage increase (+37.0%; on small volumes to 433,000 m3) while Eastern Europe saw the largest decline: -47% to 1.1 million m3.

 

Hardwood Logs:

  • Total hardwood log imports fell 5.5% to 14.83 million m3
  • Papua New Guinea was the leading supplier (-4.1% to 3.16 million m3), followed by the Solomon Islands (+1.3% to 2.22 million m3).
  • Equatorial Guinea saw the largest percentage increase (+31.7% to 657,000 m3) while Malaysia saw the largest percentage decrease (-66%; on small volumes to 197,000 m3).

 

Softwood Lumber:

  • China’s total softwood lumber imports in 2015 decreased 1.0% to 17.46 million m3
  • Russia was the leading supplier (+16.5% to 8.40 million m3), followed by Canada (-15.1% to 5.57 million m3).
  • Finland saw the largest percentage increase (+57.4% to 614,000 m3) while Germany and Argentina saw the largest decline: 37% and 36% respectively.

 

Hardwood Lumber:

  • China’s total hardwood lumber imports rose 14.4%  to 9.16 million m3
  • Thailand was the leading supplier with the largest volume increase (+36.9% to 3.05 million m3)
  • Russia saw the largest percentage increase (+54.8% to 1.07 million m3) while Mozambique saw the largest percentage decrease (-79%; on small volumes to 29,000 m3).