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Tropical log imports in the first two months of 2020 amounted 1.30 million cubic metres, down 26% year on year and accounted for 17% of the national total.

In the first two months of 2020, China imported tropical logs mainly from Papua New Guinea (39%), Solomon Islands (14%), Brazil (10%), Equatorial Guinea (8.4%), the Republic of Congo (5.8%), Mozambique (5.5%), Cameroon (4.7%), Suriname (2.9%), CAR (2.5%) and South Africa (2.3%). Just 10 countries supplied 95% of China’s tropical log requirements in the first two months of 2020.

Among top source countries for tropical hardwood log imports, imports from Surinam and the CAR jumped 138% and 136% to 38,000 cubic metres and 33,000 cubic metres respectively.

The volume of log imports from Brazil and South Africa also rose 31% and 15% to 132,000 cubic metres and 30,000 cubic metres respectively.

However, most of countries from which tropical log imports declined greatly included Equatorial Guinea (- 58%), Solomon (-54%), the Republic of Congo (-45%) and Cameroon (-42%).

Volume m3 (000s) Change in % yoy
Papau New Guinea 507 -7%
Solomon Is. 178 -54%
Brazil 132 +31%
Equatorial Guinea 109 -58%
Republic of Congo 75 -45%
Mozambique 71 -24%
Cameroon 61 -42%
Suriname 38 +138%
CAR 33 +146%
South Africa 30 +15%

Data source: China Customs

Value US$ Change in % yoy Average C&F price US$
Papau New Guinea 93,785,677 -7% 185
Solomon Is. 30,296,769 -58% 170
Brazil 14,297,620 +26% 109
Equatorial Guinea 29,532,100 -60% 271
Republic of Congo 25,822,847 -46% 343
Mozambique 37,582,308 -33% 528
Cameroon 16,199,542 -47% 266
Suriname 10,004,190 +137% 263
CAR 10,628,760 +126% 324
South Africa 2,965,797 +1% 100

Data source: China Customs

Before their log export bans Laos and Myanmar were a major source of tropical logs for China. However, China’s log imports from Laos in the first two months of 2020 fell to just 5,602 cubic metres valued at US$8.04 million, down 59% in volume and 50% in value. China’s log imports from Myanmar fell to just 434 cubic metres valued at US$0.58 million, down 82% both in volume and in value.

Sharp rise in tropical log imports through Qingdao Port

In the first two months of 2020, 74% of imported tropical logs arrived at three major ports, Zhangjiagang, Qingdao and Jingjiang ports. The volume of tropical logs handled at Qingdao Port rose over 400% year on year to 324,000 cubic metres valued at US$D74 million. However, tropical log imports through Zhangjiagang port and Jingjiagn port were 400,000 cubic metres and 255,000 cubic metres valued at US$97.46 million and US$67.43 million cubic metres respectively all down from a year earlier.

Average imported log prices US$/cu.m CIF

2020 Jan 2020 Feb
Okoume 323 293
Merswa 181 183
Teak 674 557
Merbau 432 390
Birch 125 128
Oak 312 313

Data source: China Customs. Customs value all grades, all sources

Average imported sawnwood prices US$/cu.m CIF

2020 Jan 2020 Feb
Sapelli 583 644
Merbau 852 853
Teak 800 782
Lauan 301 326
African Mahogany 464 401
Oak 481 507

Data source: China Customs. Customs value all grades, all sources

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