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Global Softwood Lumber Trade Sees Marginal Decline

Author:Zhengyang MachineryTimes:2019-01-11
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The newly published Wood Resource Quarterly Report says that global trade of softwood lumber declined marginally by 2.5% during the initial three quarters of 2018. The decline in imports by China, Japan, the U.K. and the MENA region more than offset the rise in imported volume by the U.S. and continental Europe.
 
The U.S. lumber imports totaled 9.44 million cubic meters in Q3 last year, higher by more than 10% when matched with the same quarter in 2017. The Canadian share of total imports of lumber by the U.S. has reported steady decline to 91% in 2018. Canada had accounted for 95% of the total U.S. imports in 2016. In fact, the lumber exports from Canada were down by 4.3% over the prior quarter. The prices of major lumber grades in the U.S. registered sharp decline of up to 40% from June to November.
 
The lumber exports from Northern European markets of Finland and Sweden witnessed substantial slowdown during late summer. The shipments in Aug ’18 by Finland and Sweden were down by 10% and 6% respectively, year-on-year. Meantime, the imports of softwood lumber by the U.K. declined almost 20% during the initial nine-month period of 2018. The import prices recorded a decline of 7.3% in Q3 ’18.
 
The Chinese customs data indicates 11% decline in softwood lumber imports by China during the first nine months of 2018, as compared with the previous year. Imports from all supplying countries except Russia reported year-on-year decline during Jan-Sep ’18.
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