A surge in imports from Italy helped U.S. imports of tropical hardwood veneer recover from a dismal February as March imports rose by 56%. Despite the gain, the month’s imports still lagged behind March 2019 import levels by over 30%, reported ITTO.
Imports from Italy more than quadrupled in March and imports from Cote d’Ivoire more than doubled. Imports from several other countries were also volatile, but in the negative direction: imports fell sharply from China (down 77%), Ghana (down 68%), Cameroon, (down 77%) and India (down 65%). Year to date, imports are down by 29% through the first quarter of the year.
Modest rise in hardwood flooring imports
U.S. imports of hardwood flooring rose by 12% in March. While the value of imports has remained somewhat consistent, the sources of supply has shifted drastically.
Imports from China fell by 85% to its lowest level in more than 10 years, while imports from Brazil dropped 99%, to a level not seen in three years. Meanwhile, imports from Malaysia and Indonesia grew by 64% and 145% respectively.
Year to date, imports are down 23% through the first quarter. Imports for March were 20% less than that of the previous March.
Imports of assembled flooring panels from China also fell sharply in March dropping 80%. Year to date, imports from China are down 32% through the first quarter.
U.S. moulding imports showed slight gain
U.S. imports of hardwood mouldings rose 2% in March but were down more than 18% from March of 2019. Imports from China fell by 40% to the lowest level in more than a decade while imports from Malaysia dropped by 30%.
Imports from Brazil made up the difference, rising more than three-fold from a disastrous February. Total year to date imports are down 13% with year to date imports from China down 55% through the first quarter.