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Softwood log stocks at China’s main ocean ports totalled 4.44 million m3 at the end of June 2020, a slight decline of 2.3 percent from the previous month. Radiata pine log inventories recorded an increase of 3.3 percent. European spruce log inventories totalled 653,000 m3, a significant decline of 33.7 percent.

Softwood lumber inventories in the Taicang port totalled 1.45 million m3 at the end of June 2020, about the same level as the previous month. SPF inventory amounted to 180,000 m3.

China’s softwood log imports from Canada in 2020 (YTD) was 315,000 m3, a significant drop of 65.1 percent compared to 2019 (YTD), 902,000 m3. New Zealand occupied the largest market share for softwood log imports in China. Comparing to last year, the volume of softwood log imports from New Zealand decreased 29 percent, dropping from 7,375,000 m3 to 5,234,000 m3. The softwood log imports from Russia and the USA were also down 37.1% and 60.5% respectively.

Don’t for a minute think that log exports from BC to China are any significant competitive issue. The combined strategies and investment that both Government and industry leaders from Canada focus their energies on are lumber exports feeding the Chinese dream for Western-style housing.

The lumber volumes and value difference is massive. China softwood lumber imports from Canada in 2020 (YTD) was 1,212,000 m3, a sharp decline of 46.4 percent compared to 2019 (YTD), 2,260,000 m3. The softwood lumber imports from China’s largest importer Russia had a fall of 13.9% from 7,043,000 m3 to 6,063,000 m3. The softwood lumber imports from Finland and the USA decreased by 17.9% and 15.1% respectively.

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