Global lumber trade surges 12% to hit record high in 2016

Global lumber trade surges 12% to hit record high in 2016

The yearly lumber export volumes out of British Colombia reached their highest level during past ten years in 2016.

VANCOUVER (Scrap Monster): The quarterly report published by Wood Resources International (WRI) suggests significant rise in global softwood lumber trade during 2016. The trade volumes have registered steady rise since the global financial recession in 2009. The shipments during the past seven years have surged higher by 66%, mainly driven by China. Meantime, lumber prices have declined considerably during this period, noted the Wood Resources Quarterly (WRQ) Report.

The yearly lumber export volumes out of British Colombia reached their highest level during past ten years in 2016. The shipments to the US surged higher by one-fourth in 2016. The export volumes in December ’16 alone accounted for 63% of B.C’s total monthly exports. The exports to the US had enjoyed only 55% share of B.C’s monthly exports in December 2014. Shipments from the province to China, which had registered steep decline in Q3 2016, recovered during the fourth quarter of the year. The overall yearly exports from the province to China declined by nearly 8% in 2016.

The lumber markets in the Nordic countries remained subdued during 2015 and 2016, mainly on account of prices hitting historically low levels. The lumber price recovery in Finland and Sweden during spring and summer of the year were more than offset by price declines during fall and in the fourth quarter of the year. Finland’s full year exports are likely to reach record high in 2016. Incidentally, the exports during the initial ten-month period of the year were up by almost 10% when matched with the corresponding period in 2015. The key export destinations of lumber exports from Finland were Egypt, Japan and China.

According to WRQ, China witnessed huge demand for lumber, contrary to forecasts. The lumber import volumes by the country touched record high in 2016. The imports were up by almost 20% during 4Q alone. The overall value of imported lumber remained buoyant during most of 2016, with average prices in December 2016 climbing higher by nearly 6% over the previous year.

The lumber demand in Japan recorded 3.6% increase in 2016 when compared with 2015. The lumber imports by the country touched the highest level since three years. The share of lumber imports from North America has witnessed steady decline over the past several years. The North American market share declined from 39% in 2015 to 35% in 2016. At the same time, import market share from Russia and Nordic countries increased from 39% to 42% over the year. The weakness in Japanese Yen has resulted in sharp fall in prices of domestic as well as imported lumber in the country.

The persistent weakness in Russian Ruble boosted lumber exports from the country during 2016. The lumber shipments out of the country registered 10% year-over-year jump in 2016. Over the past three years, lumber exports have risen by a quarter. China accounted for more than 50% of Russian lumber exports during the three-year period. In 2016, China and Japan were the key export destinations of Russian exports.

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