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China Wood Products Prices

16 C 29th February 2016

US Dollar Exchange Rates of  25th  February 2016
China Yuan 6.
Report from China


 Sharp decline in log imports in 2015
Official data from China Customs shows a sharp drop in
log imports in 2015. Chinas log imports in 2015 totalled
44.55 million cubic metres valued at US$8 billion, a year
on year decline of 13% in volume and 32% in value. The
average price for imported logs was US$181 per cubic

Of total log imports, softwood log imports fell 16% to
30.06 million cubic metres, accounting for 67% of the
national total. The average price for imported softwood
logs was US$122 per cubic metre, down 20%. The rate of
decline for softwood log imports was larger than that for
hardwood log imports.

Hardwood log imports fell 6% to 14.49 million cubic
metres and made up 33% of the national total.

The average price for imported hardwood logs was
US$303 per cubic metre, down 27%.

Of total hardwood log imports, tropical log imports were
8.9 million cubic metres valued at US$2.8 billion, down
10% in volume and 32% in value and accounted for 20%
of the national total.

While not reflected in the official data, estimates put the
2014 volume of logs arriving from Myanmar, despite the
log export ban in Myanmar, at between 800-900,000 cubic
metres. In 2015 analysts estimate that this had fallen to
just over 350,000 cubic metres. Log imports from
Myanmar are not included in the analysis below.

The average price for imported tropical logs was US$319
per cubic metre, a year on year decrease of 25%.

New Zealand and Russia main sources of logs
New Zealand was the main log supplier to China in 2015
accounting for 24% of the national total. Imports from
New Zealand totalled 10.77 million cubic metres, a year
on year decline of 8%.

The second ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 10.61
million cubic metres, accounting for just over 23% of the
national total. In 2015 a year on year decline of 7% was
recorded in log imports from Russia.

The decline in average prices for imported logs from New
Zealand (-21%) was larger than that from Russia (-11%).

Sources of tropical logs
Tropical log imports in 2015 totalled 8.9 million cubic
metres accounting for 20% of the national total and were
valued at US$2.8 billion reflecting a 10% decline in
volume and a 32% decline in value.

The average price for imported tropical logs was US$319
per cubic metre, a year on year drop of 25%.

China imported tropical logs mainly from Papua New
Guinea 36%), Solomon Islands (25%), Equatorial Guinea
(7.4%), Cameroon (6.2%), Nigeria 6.1% and Congo
Brazzaville 5.9%).

Just 10 countries supplied 96% of Chinas tropical log
requirements in 2015.

Log imports from Equatorial Guinea grew 32% in 2015
and imports from Cameroon expanded 14% over the same

Countries from which tropical log imports declined
included Malaysia (-47%) and Laos (-43%). The main
point for tropical log imports in 2015 was Nanjing Port
which accounted for 84% of all tropical log imports.

Monthly change in Chinas log imports
Chinas timber importers reduced log inventories
immediately after the Chinese New Year celebrations in
early 2015. As will be seen in the graphic below there was
a steady fall in log imports until the beginning of the
fourth quarter of the year.

Chinas log imports were at the highest in March mainly
because of large shipments of softwood logs. At its lowest
point softwood log imports dropped to about 2 million
cubic metres. A similar trend can be seen in respect of
hardwood log imports.

Among the softwood timbers imported radiata pine
imports were largest. For hardwood logs, okoume imports
were the highest. Okoume imports were at their lowest in
February at 21,500 cubic but rose steadily to peak at
98,800 cubic metres in July and then fell back.


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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