Decline in volume and value of Chinese tropical hardwood log imports

By | 2020-06-11T06:38:03+00:00 May 27th, 2020|

Tropical log imports in the first two months of 2020 amounted 1.30 million cubic metres, down 26% year on year and accounted for 17% of the national total.

Despite global slowing of trade, South African log exports to China increased 15% in the first quarter of 2020. Image credit: Global Wood Markets

Despite global slowing of trade, South African log exports to China increased 15% in the first quarter of 2020. Image credit: Global Wood Markets

Source: ITTO Report

In the first two months of 2020, China imported tropical logs mainly from Papua New Guinea (39%), Solomon Islands (14%), Brazil (10%), Equatorial Guinea (8.4%), the Republic of Congo (5.8%), Mozambique (5.5%), Cameroon (4.7%), Suriname (2.9%), CAR (2.5%) and South Africa (2.3%).

Just 10 countries supplied 95% of China’s tropical log requirements in the first two months of 2020. Among top source countries for tropical hardwood log imports, imports from Surinam and the CAR jumped 138% and 136% to 38,000 cubic metres and 33,000 cubic metres respectively.

The volume of log imports from Brazil and South Africa also rose 31% and 15% to 132,000 cubic metres and 30,000 cubic metres respectively. However, most of countries from which tropical log imports declined greatly included Equatorial Guinea (- 58%), Solomon (-54%), the Republic of Congo (-45%) and Cameroon (-42%).

Before their log export bans Laos and Myanmar were a major source of tropical logs for China. However, China’s log imports from Laos in the first two months of 2020 fell to just 5,602 cubic metres valued at US$8.04 million, down 59% in volume and 50% in value. China’s log imports from Myanmar fell to just 434 cubic metres valued at US$0.58 million, down 82% both in volume and in value.