Softwood sawn timber from Russia dominated the China market and volumes have been increasing over the years. Exports totalled 14.282 million cubic metres in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent.
The average price in 2017 was US$83 per cubic metre, up six per cent YoY.
In total, sawn hardwood and softwood timber from Russia amounted to 15.58 million cubic metres in 2017, according to data from China’s Custom.
Russia’s market share in the Chinese softwood market also grew to 57 per cent in 2017 from 36 per cent in 2016, leading to losses for Canadian exporters. The proportion of China’s sawn softwood from Canada fell to 20 per cent in 2017 from 46 per cent in 2011.
China’s sawn hardwood imports from Russia in 2017 rose 12 per cent to 1.298 million cubic metres at an average price of US$279 per cubic metre, down one per cent. Around 45 per cent of sawn hardwood imports from Russia were birch. China’s imports of birch sawnwood from Russia will fall in 2018 due to government controls on birch exports.