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Latvia: decline in lumber exports to Great Britain

26.02.2020 − 

In the fourth quarter Latvian softwood lumber exports to Great Britain dropped by 26% vis à vis the comparative quarter of 2018 to 201,200m³. As a proportion of total exports, deliveries to Great Britain thus declined by eight percentage points to 31%. Whilst in the first (+14%) and second (+1%) quarters the volume of exported softwood lumber had been higher than in the preceding year, in the third quarter exports decreased by 8%. In the fourth quarter the decline in exports to Great Britain was only partially compensated by increases in exports to Estonia (+1% to 51,800m³), South Korea (+7% to 42,100m³), Germany (+60% to 40,600m³), the Netherlands (+18% to 34,900m³) as well as all other countries not listed separately (+5% to 284,700m³).

Over the entire period of 2019 Latvian exporters sold a volume of 2.890m m³ at a value of €586.4m. According to the export trade statistics published on a monthly basis by the forest department of the Latvian ministry of agriculture, this represents a decrease of 1% in volume and 8% in value.

In the years up to and including 2018, exports had increased on an annual basis, both in terms of volume and value. In 2015 an increase of 8% to 2.447m m³ had been recorded. The value of the exported softwood lumber, at €487.7m, had been up 3%. In 2016, exports had increased by +15% to 2.823m m³ in terms of volume and by +9% to €533.2m in terms of value. In 2017 (+2%/+5%) the increase rates were lower. In 2018 the export volume (+1%) rose only slightly, the value improved by 13%. From 2014 to 2018 export volume and value increased by 28% and 35% respectively.

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