China to become one of Russia’s main importers

As reported by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), with reduced shipments to Europe, the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries and Egypt, Russian timber exports declined for the second consecutive quarter in the 1Q/16.

According to Wood Resources International, Europe has become a less important market for the Russian timber industry over the past 10 years. The European slice of the total export pie has diminished and the total Russian export volumes the past few years have also been lower than previous years. In 2005, one-third of Russian timber export volumes were destined for Europe (mainly the UK, Germany and Estonia), while only 12 percent of the total exports entered the European market in 2015.

The dramatic change in shipments has mainly been the increase in demand for timber in the Chinese market. From 2005 to 2015, exports from Russia to China were up from less than one million m3 to almost 10million m3 – a majority of which was pine lumber from sawmills in Siberia and Russia’s Far East. 

At the same time, export prices have fallen quite substantially in US dollar terms the past two years as values in Ruble terms were close to record high levels in the 1Q/16.

Source: Confederation of Timber Industries