US imports of sawn tropical hardwood rise

19 July 2021

In North America sawn tropical hardwood imports rose by 5% by volume in May. The 9,931 cubic metres imported in May was the highest monthly volume so far this year. The rise was fuelled by a 22% increase in imports from Ecuador, a 29% increase in imports from Malaysia, and a 258% increase in imports from Congo (Brazzaville). Source: Tropical Timber Market Report

Imports of sapelli and acajou d’Afrique both rose around 50% over the previous months to levels more than double that of May 2020. Imports of mahogany fell 89% from their strongest month in 5 years.
Despite the drop, mahogany imports were still about even with May 2020 volume and are still up 77% year to date through May.

Imports of ipe and jotoba, no longer included in the overall reported totals, were both up handily. Jotoba imports gained 58% in May and are up 10% year to date while ipe imports rose 29% in May and are up 17% year to date.

Total tropical hardwood import volume (including ipe and jatoba) is up 9% year to date.

Canadian imports of sawn tropical hardwood cooled in May after a strong April, falling by 8%. Imports of iroko, mahogany and balsa all fell sharply.

Hardwood plywood imports soar Imports of hardwood plywood jumped 24% by volume in May to the highest volume in more than 4 years. At 306,116 cubic metres, volume was more than 20% higher than the previous May and the highest since February 2017.

Imports from Vietnam rose 51%, while imports from Malaysia rose 65%, imports from Indonesia rose 31%, and imports from Cambodia rose 21%. Year-to-date imports are up by 20% overall with imports from Indonesia and Cambodia both up more than 40%.

Imports from China fell by 16% in May and are down 7% year to date.

Veneer imports surge again Imports of tropical hardwood veneer surged again in May, rising 41% by volume as imports continue to recover from a weak winter. Imports from Italy and India were the reason. Imports from Italy rose by 33% while imports from India nearly tripled. This more than offset a 98% drop in imports from China.

Total imports for the month were nearly double that of the previous May, yet year-to-date imports are still 11% behind 2020 through May.


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