China’s log import volume in the first quarter of this year was 14.95 million cubic meters, an increase of 21.3% from 12.2 million cubic meters in the same period last year. The import volume of sawn timber was 6.18 million cubic meters, down 11.6% from 7.33 million cubic meters in the same period last year.
In terms of log imports, New Zealand’s log imports have grown significantly, with an increase of about 15% over the same period last year. The increase is mainly due to the market share of Australian logs.
In the first quarter of this year, China’s two levels of imports of logs and sawn timber were significantly differentiated, which changed the phenomenon of the same rise and fall in previous years. From January to March 2021, the average growth of log imports remained above 20%, reaching 23.47%. China’s import volume of sawn timber fell by 13.43% during the same period.
Reflecting the current domestic log import market continues to be hot, and due to the sharp rise in international timber prices, international timber manufacturers have drastically reduced the amount of sawn timber sent to the country. Imports have been in a state of continuous decline since June 2020.
In the first quarter, the volume and price of log imports increased. Although the import volume of sawn timber decreased, the price continued to rise! The average import price of logs in March increased by 15% compared to the same period in 2020, and sawn timber saw an increase of 1.2% in the total value of imported goods while the import volume fell by 11.6%.
Given the excessive concentration of global timber resources in the North American market, it is expected that Chinese domestic sawn timber imports will not improve significantly in the second quarter. With the coming of the southern hemisphere winter and the intensification of conflicts between European forest owners and sawmills, the external factors will push up the import prices of logs in China.
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