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China Wood Products Prices

16 C 31th August 2015


US Dollar Exchange Rates of  25th  August 2015
China Yuan 6.
4113

Report from China 


 

 Chinas first half log imports fall
In the first half of 2015 China‟s log imports were 23.123
million cubic metres valued at US$4.38 billion, down 14%
in volume and 32% in value on the same period in 2014.
The average FOB price for imported logs fell 21% to
US$190 per cubic metres.


As the adjustment of China‟s economy progresses and
because of the decline in investment in housing January to
June the imports of softwood logs fell sharply while
imports of hardwood logs were generally flat.


Softwood log imports amounted to 15.466 million cubic
metres, a year on year decline of 18%. The average FOB
price for imported softwood logs fell 19% to US$129 per
cubic metre. Hardwood log imports totalled 7.657 million
cubic metres in the first half of this year, slightly down
(3%) on the same period in 2014. The average FOB price
for imported hardwood logs fell 28% to US$312 per cubic
metre.


In the first half of 2015 China imported logs from mainly
8 countries (see table below), together these accounted for
82% of all log imports. Log imports from all of the 8
countries fell except for those from the Solomon Islands
which rose 25%. Imports from Australia rose slightly and
there was an increase in the very small volumes imported
from Japan.


The average FOB prices for imported logs from all the
following countries were down except that the average
FOB price for imported logs from the Solomon Islands
increased slightly.

Log imports (softwoods and hardwoods) from the US fell
dramatically (-39%) as did China‟s log imports from
Ukraine (-37%).


The Chinese embassy in Ukraine has reported that Ukraine
will phase out log exports over the next 10 years. (see:
http://ua.mofcom.gov.cn/article/jmxw/201507/201507010
40059.shtml)


It is noteworthy that China‟s log imports from Japan rose
dramatically (52%) in the first half of 2015. Logs from
Japan are used to produce wood-based panels, packaging
and pallets.


Hardwood log imports
In the first half of 2015 China‟s hardwood log imports
totalled 7.657 million cubic metres, a year on year drop of
3%. The average FOB price for imported hardwood logs
in the first half of this year fell 28%.


The large decline in the hardwood log average FOB price
is the result of the sharp fall in the price of „redwoods‟.
Imports of „redwood‟ species fell sharply in the second
quarter of this year and prices responded to falling
demand.


In the first half of 2015 „redwood‟ log imports were
370,700 cubic metres valued at US$458 million, a year on
year decline of 64% in volume and 68% in value. The
average FOB price for „redwood‟ logs fell 11% to
US$1,237 per cubic metre.


Redwood sawnwood imports amounted to 59,500 cubic
metres valued at US$107 million, down 51% in volume
and 52% in value.


If the impact of the decline in „redwood‟ prices is
eliminated then neither import volumes nor prices for
hardwood logs fell but actually increased.


The average FOB price for imported hardwood log was at
its lowest in April when „redwood‟ prices crashed but
began to recover in May and in June.


After the decline in imports in February of 2015 due to the
long Chinese Spring Festival holidays, hardwood log
imports recovered but then remained flat for the rest of the
first half year.

Of the imported hardwood log species in the first half of
this year, North America hardwood log imports rose 67%
despite to overall decline in total US log imports. The
average FOB price for North American hardwoods fell
21%. Oak imports grew 30% but the average FOB price
fell 13%.


Okoume imports increased 6% but the average FOB price
fell 15% but teak imports fell 72% and the average FOB
price fell 16%. Ash imports fell 39% but the average FOB
price increased 6%.


Softwood imports
Both the volume and price of many imported softwood log
species fell in the first half of 2015. The volume of scots
pine, spruce and fir, radiata pine and douglas fir imports
fell 31%, 26%, 5% and 25% respectively. Average FOB
price for these species also fell 6%, 15%, 23% and 21%
respectively.


However, the volume of larch imports alone rose 22% but
the average FOB price for larch fell 15%. The physical
and mechanical properties of larch make it a good
structural material. Also, Chinese endusers/consumers find
the quality of larch plywood higher than that of poplar and
eucalyptus.


The proportion of radiata pine to total imported softwood
logs rose from 36% in the first half of 2014 to 42% in the
first half of 2015 despite the overall decline in softwood
log imports.


The average FOB price for radiata pine fell dramatically
from US$144 per cubic metre in June of 2014 to just
US$100 per cubic metre in June of 2015.

At present, stocks of radiata pine in China are said to be
around 2.5 million cubic metres accounting for more than
half of the stock of all softwood logs. Timber traders
suffer losses because larger stocks result in sharp drop of
import prices.

Abbreviations

LM        Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel  Cu.m         Cubic Metre
QS         Qualite Superieure    Koku         0.278 Cu.m or 120BF
CI          Choix Industriel                                                       FFR            French Franc
CE         Choix Economique                                                        SQ              Sawmill Quality
CS         Choix Supplimentaire      SSQ            Select Sawmill Quality
FOB      Free-on-Board     FAS            Sawnwood Grade First and
KD        Kiln Dry                               Second 
AD        Air Dry        WBP           Water and Boil Proof
Boule    A Log Sawn Through and Through MR              Moisture Resistant
              the boards from one log are bundled                      pc         per piece      
              together                      ea                each      
BB/CC  Grade B faced and Grade C backed MBF           1000 Board Feet          
              Plywood   MDF           Medium Density Fibreboard
BF         Board Foot F.CFA         CFA Franc        
Sq.Ft     Square Foot               Price has moved up or down

Source:ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report

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