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China Wood Products Prices
1-15th November 2004

Dollar Exchange Rates of 5th Nov. 2004
China Yuan 8.28
Report from China

US modifies Tariffs on Imported Furniture  

The US government has amended the proposed tariffs on bedroom furniture imported from China and this has been greeted as good news for consumers but not so good news for US furniture manufacturers. 

Six of the nine punitive tariff levels set in June have been cut means that imports will still be competitively priced in the stores and this will put more pressure on US Manufacturers to become more competitive or move more production outside the US.  

Trade in the first three quarters 

According to statistics from China Customs, during January to September log imports were 19,629,800 cubic metres valued at US$2.087 billion, a year on year increase of 1% in volume and 12.7% in value 

Of the total, coniferous log imports came to 11,935,600 cubic metres valued at US$872.16 million, a year on year increase of 3.9% in volume and 21.8% in value.  

Hardwood log imports amounted to 7,694,200 cubic metres valued at US$1.22 billion, a year on year fall of 3.2% in volume and 7% in value. Among hardwood log imports, tropical log imports were 5,470,000 cubic metres valued at US$899.435 million. 

Overall log imports in the first three quarters of 2004 were much the same as for the same period in 2003 but price increases were significant. The average price for imported logs increased to US$106.32 per cubic metre from US$95.25 per cubic metre in 2003, up 11.6%.  

Softwood log imports increased markedly and the average price for imported softwood logs jumped around 17% to US$73.07 per cubic metre from US$62.35 per cubic metre in 2003. At the same time hardwood log imports fell but the average price (temperate and tropical logs) for imported hardwood logs continued to climb to US$157.89 per cubic metre up about 10% from US$142.84 per cubic metre in 2003. 


Sawnwood imports in the first three-quarters were to 4,628,000 cubic metres valued at US$1.05 billion, a year on year increase of 12% in volume and 18.4% in value. Of the total, softwood sawnwood imports were 1,289,400 cubic metres valued at US$210.69 million, a year on year increase of 22.3% in volume and 33.6% in value.  

Hardwood sawnwood imports amounted to 3,038,600 cubic metres valued at US$834.3 million, a year on year decline of 1.2% in volume but an increase of 15% in value terms.  

Both softwood and hardwood sawnwood prices increased. The average price for sawn softwood climbed 9.2% to US$163.4 per cubic metres up from US$149.57 in the same period last year.  

The average price for imported hardwood sawnwood rose 16.6% to US$274.56 per cubic metre up from US$235.57 per cubic metre in the same period last year.



Veneer imports modest 85,100 cubic metres and showed a sharp fall, dropping 36.2% but the import value of veneers rose 11.7% to US$82,122,000. Of the total veneer imports, softwood veneer imports were just 2,500 cubic metres valued at US$15.883,400 million, a year on year decline of a massive 90% in volume and 30.9% in value.  

Tropical veneer imports were only 23,100 cubic metres valued at US$14.662,100, a year on year fall of 21% in volume and 4.5% in value. Other veneer imports came to 59,500 cubic metres valued at US$61.57,400 million, a year on year decline of about 24% in volume but an increase of 24% in value term 

Clearly veneer imports for 2004 have changed in composition as more high value veneers were imported. 

The average price for imported 'other' veneers rose to US$1,035 per cubic metre up from US$631.96 per cubic metre in the same period last yea. At the same time the average price for imported tropical veneer jumped about 20% to US$634.72 per cubic metre up from US$525.88 per cubic metre last year.  


Plywood imports in the first three-quarters continued to decline and were just 573, 000 cubic metres down 7% valued at US$278.5 million. But the average price for imported plywood increased to US$486.04 per cubic metre up from US$456.55 per cubic metre in 2003. 

It will be seen that during January to September 2004 the average price for import wood products increased, some rather sharply. The increase in average price was greatest for hardwood veneers at about plus 64%. 

The next steepest jump was for tropical veneers which rose around 21%.

Average price increases were also recorded for coniferous logs (17%), hardwood sawnwood (16.6%) and hardwood (plus 10.5%). The price increases for sawn softwood (plus 9.2%) and plywood (plus 6.6%) were below the double-digit gains seen for hardwoods.  

Promising bamboo and rattan industry 

China has 3 genera and 40 species of rattan plants mainly growing in tropical and sub-tropical natural secondary forests in the south and southwest of the country. According to a recent study there are some 300 000 hectares of rattan resources the natural forest and the annual wild rattan production is around 4,000-5,000 tons and has peaked at 6500 tons per year. 

The total trade value of China's rattan furniture production is currently at around US$200 million and has been growing by around 10% annually in recent years. 

The rattan industry plays an important role in the development of regional economies and currently, the largest production and distribution centres for bamboo and rattan handicraft are in Guangdong Nanhai City and Fujian Anxi county. 

Issues and prospects 

Mr. Chenxuhe, an expert with INBAR, (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan) has said that China's bamboo and rattan industry has great potential and could develop better technologies to capture greater economic benefits.  Such industries, he says have a low resources consumption, negligible environment pollution and can help with human resource development. 

Expansion of the bamboo and rattan resource base is said to require attention. Although China has abundant bamboo resources, there are only 20 widely used economic species. The INBAR report suggests that around half of the bamboo forests are under-stocked and low-yielding forests. The report also says that China's rattan industry needs some 40-50,000 tons of annually so is heavily dependant on imports. Therefore a strong case can be made for investment in rattan cultivation to improve the self-sufficiency in rattan production.  

According to preliminary investigation, there are some 2 million hectare of plantation and secondary forest suitable for interplanting rattan in Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan.

In terms of industrial development there is also much to do. Apparently many bamboo and rattan enterprises are low tech and poorly managed and the sector has not developed a broad base from which to develop its international standard.  

The INBAR report says there is a need to develop cooperation in the industry to encourage the integration of raw material production and utilisation and this process should be driven by intensive utilisation using the latest available technologies.  

To support the sector it would be necessary to strengthen the scientific and technological support to deliver innovation. R and D activities, say INBAR, should focus on key technologies, intensive management the productivity of bamboo and rattan in natural forests and plantations and on the development of new applications for bamboo and rattan.  

INBAR is well placed to assist with the further development of the bamboo and rattan industries in China and its strength is in international cooperation. INBAR is an independent, non-profit inter-governmental international organization co-launched by China and Canada and the headquarters is in Beijing.   

INBAR has 28 member countries at present as well as some 350 organizations and individual members. Currently, the U.S, the European Union and Brazil are considering the organisation. International Center for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR) in Beijing is China's main R&D facility for bamboo and rattan and INBAR has recognised the opportunities to bring together capacity for scientific research on Bamboo and rattan, international cooperation and expertise in support of development of the sector.  

Guangdong panel projects 

Guangdong Province is developing very rapidly and demand for wood products is tremendous. According to provincial statistics, in 2003 the forest cover in the Province was 57.3%.  

The land area available for forestry was said to be 10.831 million hectares. The standing volume is reported as around stock was 350.92 million cubic metres. The annual total volume growth has been estimated at 17.42 million cubic metres.  

The consumption of the provincial forest resources was 7.29 million cubic metres last year, taking up around two-thirds of the annual logging quota of 11 million cubic metres.  

There are 8 high/medium density fiberboard plants under construction, which will have an annual timber consumption of about 1.75 million cubic metres. 

It is expected that many more large scale wood-based panel enterprises will be established in the province in the next few years. Within a few years the annual timber consumption could jump to above 3.6 million cubic metres.  

Wood products (including logs, sawnwood, veneer, plywood, medium density fiberboard, paper pulp and paper) imports through Guangdong Port in 2003 were 22.82 million cubic metres (log equivalent), or about 20% of the national total.  

The severe shortages of forest timber resources will hamper the development of wood-based panel enterprises in Guangdong. 

Currently Guangdong wood-based panel industry is at a critical period of development. On the one hand, medium and small timber processing enterprises are growing in number. Many medium and large-scale paper pulp factories and wood-based panel mills are under construction. 

It is undeniable that there are insufficient resources within the province. Analysts point out that at the moment there are many inefficient and poorly managed enterprises in the province and as the raw material shortages begin to bite only the best enterprises will survive and others will collapse.  

Against this background the provincial authorities have a difficult task in planning and distributing development projects. It is necessary to carefully control the number and scale of wood-based panel, wood chip and paper mills to avoid aggravating the raw material supply problems. It is reported that a decision has been made that projects with low raw material consumption, power efficiencies and effective utilization of resources will be encouraged and supported.  

US Hardwood imports  

According to statistics from China's Customs, in 2003 the total value of the U.S hardwood wood products exported to China was US$197.46 million, a year on year increase of 19.4%.

 Of the U.S hardwoods exported to China sawnwood imports were 301,000 cubic metres valued at US$191.3 million, a year on year increase of 24% in volume and 30%in value.  

China's imports were mainly of Maple (up 89%), Red oak up 16%, Ash (up 64%), Cherry (up 120%) and Yellow poplar (up 53%). In addition to sawnwood, China also imported a small volume of logs, veneer, flooring, plywood and blockboard. 

Currently U.S hardwoods are very popular with China's interior decoration and furniture industry because of their appearance, texture, workability and consistency of grade. Today US hardwoods are used widely in interior work in houses, gymnasiums, office buildings, libraries, opera houses, hotels and sports and cultural centres. 

Guangzhou City Imported Timber Market  

Logs                     Yuan per Cu.m


Logs 6m 26cmdia       950-1000

Luan Logs            1600-1800

Merbau 6m 60cm dia       1800-2400


60cm+ dia             1800-2000

Beech 30cm

Veneer Qual.        3500


Sawnwood            Yuan per Cu.m

Teak Boards         7950-14500

Maple 2" KD        7500-11500

Cherry 2"              8050-14000

SE Asian Sawn 4m+ 2800-3200  

Plywood               Yuan per sheet


4x8 3mm        22.5-33

4x8 18mm             169


Shanghai Furen Wholesale Market

Sawnwood            Yuan per Cu.m

Beech KD Grade AB       3800-3900

Cherry (25mm)              11500-12000

Tamalan        6600

Sapele                  5300-5400


Hebei Shijiangzhuang Wholesale Market  

Logs                     Yuan per Cu.m

Korean Pine

 4m 38cm dia               1350

Mongolian Scots Pine

4m 30cm dia                1020

6m 30+cm dia                     1020


Mongolian Scots Pine

4m 5-6cm thick                     1025

4m 10cm thick                     1025


Plywood               Yuan per sheet

3mm 1220x2440              25-28

5mm 1220x2440              22-45


1220x2440                   28-82



Shandong De Zhou Timber market  

Larch Logs           Yuan per Cu.m

4m 24-28cm dia              920

6m 24-28cm dia              950

White Pine

4m 24-28cm dia              940

6m 24-28cm dia              1050

Korean Pine

4m 30cm dia                1100

6m 30cm dia                1150


Tian Jin City Huan Bo Hai timber Market

Sawnwood            Yuan per Cu.m

US Black Walnut

2.6m 5cm thick                     14000

Red Walnut 2.2m 5cm              3200


2.2-3m 5cm thick              6300      


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

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