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China’s log imports in the first two months of 2020 totalled 7.73 million cubic metres valued at US$1,104 million, a year on year decline of 9% in volume and 27% in value.

Of total log imports, softwood log imports fell 7% to 5.49 million cubic metres and accounted for 71% of total log imports. Hardwood log imports fell 15% to 2.24 million cubic metres (29% of total log imports).

Of total hardwood log imports, tropical log imports were 1.30 million cubic metres valued at US$3.25 million, down 26% in volume and 37% in value from the same period of 2019.

China’s log imports in the first 2 months of 2020

Volume in million cubic meters % Change yoy
Logs Total -9%
Softwood logs -7%
Hardwood logs -15%
Tropical logs -26%

Data source: China Customs

Germany the second largest log supplier

Among logs supply countries to China, providing more than 100,000 cubic metres of log imports in the first two months of 2020 were Germany and the Czech Republic where imports soared over 250% and 300% respectively and to 1.11 million cubic metres and 393,000 cubic metres respectively.

In 2019, around 12 million cubic metres of standing timber in North Rhine-Westphalia alone was lost toa bark beetle attack and efforts are underway to salvage as much of the timber as possible.

China’s log imports from Argentina also soared over 170% to 103,000 cubic metres. In addition, China’s log imports from Brazil, France and New Zealand rose 31%, 8% and 1%. All other sources saw a sharp decline.

New Zealand was the main log supplier to China in the first two months of 2020 accounting for 29% of total log imports. Imports from New Zealand totalled 2.25 million cubic metres in the first two months of 2020, a year on year slight increase of 1%.

The second ranked log supplier was Germany at 1.11 million cubic metres, a year on year soaring of over 250%, accounting for about 14% of the national total. The average price for imported logs from Germany was the lowest at US$90 per cubic metre.

The third ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 0.867 million cubic metres, a year on year increase of over 300%.

Log suppliers of over 100,000 cu.m in first two months of 2020

Volume in cubic meter % Change yoy
New Zealand 2,254,420 1%
Germany 1,112,619 252%
Russia 867,285 -38%
Australia 556,126 -29%
PNG 506,626 -7%
Czech Republic 392,949 308%
USA 286,378 -55%
Solomon Is. 178,378 -54%
Canada 174,865 -45%
Brazil 131,694 31%
France 125,944 8%
Japan 117,233 -4%
Equatorial Guinea 108,873 -58%
Argentina 102,650 178%

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