Russia continues exporting to China, with wood and wood products growing

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It has been more than a year since Europe completely banned the import of Russian timber, plywood and other products.

During this year, the output and sales of wood and wood products in Russia have declined, and the output of plywood has become the lowest point in 10 years.

According to a recent report by the Russian agency Rossiyskaya Gazeta, as of June 2023, Russia had harvested 77.8 million m3 of commercial timber.

Although production is increasing every month, it is actually still lower than last year’s level. Compared with last year’s 89 million m3, this figure still has a drop of about 12%, the agency said.

Other products observed an output in growth, however. According to Global Wood Trade Network, they are: wooden furniture by 37%; paper and paper products by 3.2%; plywood production by 1%; particleboard by 5.83%; single board by 4.37%; wood pellet production by more than 6%; and parquet flooring by 1.28%.

Russia’s timber and wood products production in general is recovering well. As the production of plywood and particleboard is recovering, Roslesinfga director Pavel Chashchin pointed out that it is expected that the demand in the timber market will recover, and the price of plywood and sawn timber will increase by then.

Timur Irtuganoven, director-general of the Association of Russian Furniture and Wood Processing Enterprises, said that since December 2022 the demand for wood furniture in the international market has decreased significantly, but the situation has changed now.

He said that with the market improving, the production of some furniture products has increased in the first few months of this year.

Looking at export trends, Russia’s supply of timber and timber products to China is growing as expected against the backdrop of European sanctions.

From January to May 2023, Russia exported 780,000 m3 of qualified logs to China, a year-on-year decrease of 35.18%; the value reached 600m yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 33%.

The sawn timber exported to China reached 5.27 million m3, a year-on-year increase of 7.7%; the value reached 7.6bn yuan, a year-on-year increase of 5.4%.

At the same time, sawn timber prices are falling on the international market, while in Europe and central Russia prices are rising steadily.

Source: Global Wood Trade Network