A wide array of data was released this week demonstrating softwood imports and exports to various regions of the world:
The US imported 8.932 million cubic metres of softwood lumber between January and April 2014 according to the US Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), a 3 per cent increase over the same period last year. Canada’s share grew by 3 per cent, to 8.629 million cubic metres. EU wood imported to the US was 117,000 cubic metres, a 7 per cent drop over the first four months of 2013.
Wood Imports and Exports Globally
US West coast lumber exports in first quarter 2014 decreased by more than 11 per cent, to 257 million board feet, compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the US Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station reported Tuesday. Compared to the same period last year, West coast exports increased by 11 per cent for logs and by 17 per cent for lumber.
Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska increased by just under 2 per cent in volume to 466 million board feet. The total value of West coast log exports increased by more than 6 per cent to US$369 million, while the total value of lumber exports decreased more than 10 per cent, to US$186 million.
China’s demand for US lumber increased just slightly, by 2 per cent during this quarter, but lumber exports specifically from the West coast to China decreased 17 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. East coast exports made up for these shortfalls.
• Total US log exports increased nearly 11 per cent in volume in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, while the value increased by more than 12 per cent;
• Total US lumber exports in the first quarter of 2014 increased by less than 1 per cent in volume compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, while the value increased by just under 6 per cent;
• In the United States, 41 per cent of outgoing logs and 35 per cent of outgoing lumber were destined for China in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 44 per cent of logs and 30 per cent of lumber in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Examined another way, US exports of the building materials to China rose for 10 straight months on a year-over-year basis through January, said Mario Moreno in the April edition of JOC Insights.
US export volume of containerized logs and lumber in 2013 rose by 13 per cent year-over-year, to 456,212 20-foot equivalent units, said JOC Insights. China accounts for a little more than half of US containerized lumber and log exports, followed by Vietnam at 7.2 per cent, Japan at 5.8 per cent, and Taiwan at 4.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, the United States exported 951,148 cubic metres, a 20 per cent increase, of hardwood lumber in first quarter 2014 than the same time last year, said the US FAS in May. Most notable is a 38 per cent growth in deliveries to East Asia, at 490,544 cubic metres. In particular, shipments to China skyrocketed 42 per cent, to 451,127 cubic metres. China now accounts for around 47 per cent of total US hardwood lumber exports.
Elsewhere, April 2014 BC forest product exports from British Columbia totalled $1.10 billion in value, up 2.6 per cent from last year’s level of $1.07 billion, said BC Stats Wednesday. Softwood lumber accounted for 46.4 per cent of the total, while pulp exports were 24.5 per cent.
Year-to-date (April) 2014 exports were $3.77 billion, down 0.3 per cent, compared to the same time in 2013. Softwood lumber accounted for 44.1 per cent, while pulp exports were 26.1 per cent.