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US and Canada Timber and Wood Product Price and Market Report
01 – 15th May 2024

Report from North America

 First quarter US hardwood plywood imports up 68%
over last year

US imports of hardwood plywood gained 18% in March as
volume continues to greatly outpace last year’s totals. The
230,993 cubic meters imported in March was 56% more
than was imported last March. Imports from Russia, which
had been down sharply early this year, bounced back to
their highest level since October and imports from
Indonesia gained 27%.

Despite falling 4% in March, imports from Vietnam
remain strong and are up over 200% in volume through
the first quarter. Total imports of hardwood plywood are
up 68% versus last year through the first quarter of 2024.

Sawn tropical hardwood imports down 14% in March
US imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell 14% from the
previous month in March. At 14,026 cubic meters, imports
for the month were 3.4% lower than last January’s level.
Imports from Brazil, which have been strong of late,
dropped 25% in March while imports from Cameroon and
Ghana both fell by 39%. Imports from Ecuador and Peru
both made sharp gains and imports from Malaysia rose

Among the hardwoods with the most volume, imports of
Sapelli fell 35% in March while imports of Mahogany
were down 75% and imports of Ipe fell 14%. On the
upside, imports of Keruing rose 10% while imports of
Balsa and Teak more than tripled. Through the first
quarter of 2024 total imports of sawn tropical hardwood
are up 3% so far versus last year.

Canada’s imports of sawn tropical hardwood bounced
back nicely in March, rising 70% from the previous
month. Through the first quarter, total imports are ahead of
last year’s pace by 13% with imports from most major
trade partners up by a much higher percentage. Imports
from the US, however, are down by 71% while imports
from Malaysia are down 96%.

US veneer imports recover
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer recovered
somewhat in March, rising 50% from a very poor
February. Even with the gain, the month’s imports were
20% below those of the previous March.

Imports from Cameroon continue to impress, gaining 41%
in March and up over 300% for the first quarter. For the
quarter, imports from Cameroon were more than twice that
from any other single country and represent nearly a third
of all imports. Meanwhile, despite large gains in March,
imports from Italy and China are down for the quarter by
89% and 42%, respectively. Total imports of tropical
hardwood veneer are down 18% from last year through the
first quarter of the year.

Flooring imports move upward
US imports of hardwood flooring rose 15% in March from
the previous month as imports from Vietnam climbed to
their highest level in at least 10 years. Despite the gain,
total imports for March were down 17% from last March
and are behind last year’s numbers by 17% for the entire
first quarter. While imports from Vietnam are surging,
imports from Malaysia and Indonesia are far behind last
year through the first quarter.

Imports from Indonesia rose 7% in March but are down
49% for the quarter while Imports from Malaysia fell to
zero for March and are off 72% through the first three
months of the year. Edging out Indonesia for the top
trading partner for the first quarter was Brazil. Imports
from Brazil gained 5% in March and were up 14% over
2023 in the first quarter. Imports of assembled flooring
panels fell in March by 6% from the previous month but
were 13% above imports from March 2023.

Imports from Indonesia have been weak to begin the
year—down 17% in March and off by nearly half versus
last year through the first quarter.

March imports from most other trading partners were
lower than the previous month but are well ahead of a year
ago. Imports from Vietnam are more than double last year
for the quarter and imports from Thailand are more than
triple. Imports from Canada, the top trade partner, were up
15% in March and have risen each month this year. Total
imports of assembled flooring panels are up 32% over last
year through the first quarter of the year.

Moulding imports rise 13%
US imports of hardwood moulding gained more than 10%
for the second straight month, climbing 12% in March to
their highest level since last May. The March total was
44% higher than in March of 2023. Imports from leading-
supplier Canada rose 16% while imports from China
jumped 69%. Imports from Brazil, however, slid 21% for
the month and are down 60% versus last year for the first
quarter. Total imports are ahead of last year by 16%
through the first quarter of the year.

US wooden furniture imports slip
US imports of wooden furniture fell 4% in March, slipping
to their lowest level since September. However, the
US$1.67 billion in imports was 19% better than the
previous March total. Imports from China and Vietnam,
which have been strong of late, both fell by more than
10% in March.

Despite the setback, imports from China ended the first
quarter 18% higher than last year while imports from
Vietnam were up 28%. Imports from Mexico rose less
than 1% in March and are down 15% through the first
quarter. Total imports of wooden furniture are ahead of
last year, up 10% through the first quarter.

US economy grew by 1.6% in the first quarter, a much
slower pace than expected

The US economy cooled more than expected in the first
quarter of the year but remained healthy by historical
standards. Economic growth has slowed steadily over the
past 12 months, which bodes well for lower interest rates,
but the Federal Reserve has made it clear it’s in no rush to
cut rates.

Gross domestic product, which measures all the services
and goods produced in the economy, rose at an annualized
rate of 1.6% in the first quarter, the Commerce
Department reported. It was the weakest pace of growth
since the second quarter of 2022 when the economy

That’s a steep slowdown from the fourth quarter’s 3.4%
rate and below the 2.2% rate economists projected. The
figures are adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation. A
sharp increase in imports—which subtracts from GDP—
contributed to the slowdown in growth from the fourth
quarter, shaving off nearly an entire percentage point.
Spending on imports jumped to a 7.2% rate from 2.2% in
the fourth quarter.



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