The U.S. imported 127,068 m³ of sawn temperate and tropical hardwood in May were up 60% from April. However, the value of these imports increased by just 5% to US$43.9 million, which was mainly due to imports of temperate species.
May’s tropical sawn hardwood imports grew 5% from April to 19,705 m³, were valued at US$21.7 million and accounted for half of all U.S. sawn hardwood imports for the month. However, year-to-date the volume of tropical hardwood imports was down 20% compared to May 2015.
In May this year, imports of Balsa (4,641 m³), Ipe (3,957 m³) and Mahogany (1,159 cu.m.) increased from the previous month but imports of Sapelli (2,735 cu.m.), Acajou d’Afrique (1,164 cu.m.) and Keruing (1,468 cu.m.) declined month-on-month.
Sawnood shipments to the U.S. from Cameroon and Malaysia fell in May due to lower imports of Sapelli and Keruing. On the other hand teak sawnwood imports from Myanmar increased significantly from 55 m³ in April to 189 m³ in May.
While volumes were modest, the value of teak imports from Burma was close to US$1 million in May. Year-to-date U.S. imports of teak from Myanmar were up 22% in May from the same time in 2015.
Despite the improvement in May imports the overall trend for US imports of tropical sawnwood has been disappointing with only Ecuador posting gains as can be seen in the graphic below.
source: Global Wood