US market demand for hardwood down but sales value up in 2017

Demand for temperate and tropical sawnwood fell for the second year in a row in 2017.

Annual imports of sawn hardwood fell 13 per cent in 2017 from the previous year, but the value of imports was up.

While overall hardwood imports were down, tropical sawnwood seemed unaffected by the overall decline in 2017. In fact, tropical imports increased two per cent from 2016 to 239,738 cbm.

The lower sawnwood import volumes may not be all bad news for wood product suppliers as this appears to be part of the continuing trend towards higher US imports of semi-finished and finished wood products, something tropical sawnwood suppliers should take note of. Imports of most finished products such as flooring and furniture were significantly up in 2017.

The value of sawn hardwood imports was steady at US$252 million. The share of tropical sawnwood in the total value of US hardwood imports was 52 per cent in 2017, unchanged from 2016.

The following species posted the largest volume gains in the US market in 2017: jatoba, balsa, sapelli and cedro. Imports of mahogany and keruing sawnwood declined from the previous year.


Source: ITTO