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EU27 tropical wood product imports close to decade high in March EU27 import value of tropical wood and wood furniture products was US$861 million in the first three months of this year, 6% more than the same period in 2020.

After a slow start to the year in January and February, imports surged to US$327 million in March, only the second time since 2012 that monthly imports have exceeded US$325 million (the only other occurrence being in April 2019) (Chart 1).

The high level of EU27 tropical wood product imports in March came at a time when most of the continent was still subject to tight lockdown conditions and probably partly reflects a surge in deliveries delayed in previous months due to shortages of containers and other logistical problems. However, there also encouraging signs that the economic recovery in the EU is gaining momentum, a trend expected to continue as vaccination rates are rising, lockdown measures are eased and the full effects of NextGenerationEU, the EU’s large fiscal stimulus programme, begin to be felt.

Rebound in EU27 tropical wood product imports in first quarter

The value of EU27 imports of most tropical wood products increased in the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. This is encouraging given that Europe only began to lockdown in the middle of March last year, too late to significantly impact on trade volumes in the first quarter of 2020.

EU27 imports of wood furniture from tropical countries increased 7% to US$396 million in the first quarter this year compared to the same period in 2020, while imports of tropical sawnwood increased 3% to US$163 million, tropical mouldings were up 6% to US$74 million, joinery up 11% to US$43 million, plywood up 10% to US$34 million, flooring up 3% to US$15 million, and logs up 27% to US$12 million.

These gains offset a 4% decline in veneer imports to US$44 million, and a 17% fall in marquetry imports to US$16 million (Chart 2).

In the first quarter this year, import value increased into all the largest EU27 destinations for tropical wood and wood furniture products with the exception of Italy and Spain.

Import value was up 4% to US$169 million in France, 11% in the Netherlands to US$173 million, 11% in Germany to US$147 million, 12% in Belgium to US$120 million, 30% in Denmark to US$42 million, 17% in Poland to US$23 million, and 4% to Sweden to US$20 million. Import value decreased in Italy by 12% to US$58 million and by 11% in Spain to US$42 million (Chart 3).

 

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