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  • Despite the ongoing corona crisis which has slowed trade in many European countries, EU spruce logs and spruce lumber exports to China have seen a very prosperous 2020. There’s only one reason for this: the spruce bark beetle crisis in Europe.

The volume of dead spruce in the forests of Central Europe has grown exponentially over the past few years and is expected to peak in 2021. The beetle-killed spruce can rot quickly so that the dead trees are salvageable for perhaps no more than five years. With hundreds of millions of cubic metres of dead wood already, this number is forecast to explode over the next half-decade.

This bulge of European log exports, especially German, has made its way to China. Although Europe has not historically been a major log supplier to China, the recent U.S.-China trade dispute has provided an opportunity by making European logs cost-competitive.

So far in 2020, Europe (as a whole) is now the second largest log exporter to China and is threatening to match the radiata pine volumes from New Zealand this year.

European spruce logs exports to China managed to rise by almost 161% in volume in the January-September 2020, as compared to the same period of last year. Softwood lumber exports rose by 31%.

The European Union countries sent 7.6 million m3 of spruce logs to China, during the first nine months, and 2.3 milllion m3 worth of spruce lumber.

The biggest spruce log exporter was Germany, with shipments rising by 131% as compared to January-September 2019.

Sweden and Germany were the top spruce lumber exporters. Swedish exports rose by 52%, up to only 550 thousand m3, while German exports reached 527 thousand m3, a 44% rise as compared to January-September 2019.

TOP 10 Exporting Countries

– Spruce Sawlogs exported to China from… (in cbm )

Exporting Country Jan.-Sep. 2019 Jan.-Sep. 2020 Change in %
EUROPEAN Union

Total

2,917,838 7,603,502 161 %
Germany
1,443,857 3,334,560 131 %
Czech Republic
882,720 1,458,924 65 %
Belgium
296,824 1,391,379 369 %
Slovakia
63,942 934,330 1,361 %
Poland
118,037 354,251 200 %
Others
112,458 130,058 16 %
OTHER European Countries
8,455 3,424 -60 %
Croatia
8,455 3,424 -60 %

The statistics are based on the numbers published by Eurostat. The product – Spruce Sawlogs consists of following HS Codes: 44032011,44032310.

TOP 10 Exporting Countries

– Planed Spruce, – Sawn Spruce exported to China from… (in cbm )

Exporting Country Jan.-Sep. 2019 Jan.-Sep. 2020 Change in %
EUROPEAN Union

Total

1,775,621 2,324,050 31 %
Sweden
366,299 556,537 52 %
Germany
367,572 527,638 44 %
Finland
641,969 522,794 -19 %
Belgium
78,675 204,513 160 %
Austria
135,447 175,105 29 %
Others
185,659 337,463 82 %
OTHER European Countries
472 315 -33 %
Croatia
472 315 -33 %

The statistics are based on the numbers published by Eurostat. The product – Planed Spruce, – Sawn Spruce consists of following HS Codes: 44071031,44071220, 44071091,44071290.

The post European spruce logs and lumber exports to China see strong rise in Q1-Q3/2020 appeared first on Timber Industry News.