New Zealand accounts for 35% of log imports to China in 2013 at 11.48 million m3, up by nearly 3 million m3 from 2012; Russia imports 28% of total at 9.29 million m3, down 9% year-over-year: ITTO

YOKOHAMA, Japan , June 2, 2014 () –

Report from China; softwood log imports 

Softwood log imports in 2013 amounted to 33.16 million cubic metres valued at US$5.114 billion, up 24% in volume and 37% in value over 2012.

China‟s imports of softwood logs are mainly from Russia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Australia, Ukraine and European countries.

The combined imports from these countries accounted for over 90% of all softwood log imports in 2013.

Sources of imported softwood logs (mil. cu.m)

  2013 % change on 2012 Proportion %
Proportion %
New Zealand 11.48 35% 35% 32%
Russia 9.29 -9% 28% 38%
USA 5.26 54% 16% 13%
Canada 2.71 12% 8% 9%
Australia 1.57 43% 5% 4%
Ukraine 1.36 223% 4% 1.60%
EU 1.19 165% 3.60% 1.70%
Other 0.3 165% 0.90% 0.40%
Total 33.16 24% 100% 100%
Source: China Customs

China‟s softwood log imports in 2013 from the listed countries increased except for Russia where imports fell 9% to 9.29 million cubic metres year- on-year.

China‟s softwood log imports from New Zealand, the largest supplier in 2013, increased by nearly 3 million cubic metres to 11.48 million cubic metres. In 2013, for the first time, imports from New Zealand exceeded those from Russia.

It will be seen from the figure below that there has been a steady rise in softwood log imports from the USA and Canada.

In terms of unit log price from the main source countries, in 2013 prices for US logs fell to an average US$203 per cubic metre.

However, imports from Canada, Russia and New Zealand were all more expensive at US$196, US$133 and US $147 per cubic metre respectively.

The main species of imported softwood logs were scots pine, spruce and fir, radiata pine and larch and imports of these species account for 77% of the total softwood log imports.

Before 2007, scots pine was the main species imported but between 2007 to 2013 imports of radiata pine rose sharply and now account for about 37% of all softwood log imports.

Source: Tropical Timber Market Report, International Tropical Timber Organization, Yokohama, Japan. The full report with tables is available here.

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