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European logs flood into China

27 August 2020

Europe’s flow of damaged wood to China: Plus 534% in 2019 – In the 2019 calendar year, Europe was shipping enormous volumes of damaged wood to China. In the first three quarters, deliveries already totaled more than 4.5 million sm³. The delivery volume of round softwood is 3.7 million sm³ or 534% more than Europe shipped to China in 2018.

Germany delivered almost exactly 2 million sm³, when last year it was only 41,000 sm³ in the same period. Czech Republic, also severely affected by damaged wood accrual, exported 1.25 million sm³ (2018: 91,000 sm³) to China.

All other European supplier countries exported 1.3 million sm³ until the beginning of October, 32,000 sm³ of which came from Italy. This, however, does not necessarily represent strong China exports for Italy. Over Q4-2019, there was much talk of Vaia-related damaged wood from Italy being shipped to China.

The 4.5 million sm³ from Europe only make for 12% of China’s total round softwood imports in that period. China imported more than 32 million sm³ in the first nine months, as Customs Statistics China reports.

The “top dog” in China is New Zealand with its radiata pine plantation wood. The island country delivered 13 million sm³ (+6%) in the first nine months. Russia shifted its exports to sawn timber, therefore roundwood deliveries dropped 25% compared to last year: 4.6 million sm³ instead of 6.1 million sm³.

Australian deliveries remained stable (3.1 million sm³), while the United States only delivered 2.4 million sm³ (35%).

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