Log imports into China increase in price and volume

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According to the China Customs, log imports in Q3 2021 totalled 48.4 million m3 valued at US$8.617 billion, up 14% in volume and 43% in value. The average cost, insurance and freight (CIF) price for imported logs was US$178/m3, up 25% from the same period of 2020.

Of total log imports, softwood log imports rose 18% to 37.98 million m3, accounting for 78% of the national total. The average CIF price for imported softwood logs was US$154/m3, up 33% from the same period of 2020. Hardwood log imports rose 3% to 10.42 million m3, accounting for 22% of the national total. The average CIF price for imported hardwood logs was US$264/m3, up 16% from the same period of 2020.

The China Customs also reported that log imports from Brazil and Uruguay urged 178% and 128% to 1.65 million m3 and 1.60 million m3 respectively for Q3 2021. Log imports from other countries in Q3 2021 include: New Zealand rose by 35% to 15.26 million m3; Germany rose by 50% to 9.47 million m3; Russia rose by 3% to 5.07 million m3; and the US rose by 26% to 3.04 million m3.

However, imports from Australia plunged to 62,855m3 in Q3 2021, down 99% from the same period of 2020. The reason for such a plunge was because of a ban imposed by China on imports from Australia as of November 2020. This was because the quarantine service in China detected pests in a log shipment. Since the beginning of 2020, Chinese Customs has repeatedly detected live pests such as Cerambycidae and Buprestidae in logs imported from Australia. Moreover, Australia has not been a main supplier of logs to China.

Even so, while volumes dropped, the average price for log imports from Australia rose 7% from $108/m3 in Q3 2020 to $116/m3 in Q3 2021.

Source: ITTO