China imported a total of 39.5 million cubic metres of wood products (logs and sawn timber), an 8.6% increase compared to the year before, following a 7.2% dip from 2015.
“The figures correspond to the country’s 7% spike in GDP after a period of slowdown,” said Wang Shao Fang, secretary general of the Shanghai Timber Trade Association. The figures were given at a seminar, China’s Wood Market Analysis, held during the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) from 7 – 10 September.
Wang Shao Fang, Secretary General of the Shanghai Timber Trade Association, reporting China’s wood market performance in 1H/2016
Audience at CIFF seminar: China’s Wood Market Analysis
Log imports rose 3.4% YoY to 23.91 million cubic metres but prices fell 12% to US$166 per cubic metre.
Imported softwood amounted to 15.94 million cubic metres (+7.6%); hardwood, 7.97 million cubic metres (- 4.2%).
Sawn timber imports went up 17.7% YoY to 15.6 million cubic metres; prices fell 16.5% to $245 per cubic metre.
Softwood volume amounted to 10.8 million cubic metres, a 3.5% increase (69.2% of the market share).
Wood entering China through Manzhouli accounted for 20% of all import volumes. At 3.0 million cubic metres, this figure exceeded that of Shanghai, which has been the top port in the past five years, suggesting that huge volumes of wood are coming from Russia.
Russia overtook New Zealand as China’s largest softwood supplier after a period of lull, with log imports totaling 5.9 million cubic metres in 1H/2016, an 8.8% increase. The country makes up 24.73% of total log imports.
Russian sawn timber imports rose 43% to 6.5 million cubic metres, accounting for 42.1% of total sawn timber market share. Imports of Russian lumber have been on an upward trend in the past few years. This is probably due to the Ruble’s depreciation against the USD and China’s one belt one road initiative.
Look out for a full report in the upcoming issue of Panels & Furniture Asia.
Cover image: Russian softwood