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Less hardwood timber exported by US shippers

14.12.2018 − 

After growth in the first and second quarter, exports of US hardwood fell sharply from July to September. Calculations by the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) of Washington, D.C., show that 0.945m m³ of hardwood timber were exported worldwide in the third quarter, equating to a reduction of 17 % against a year earlier. This volume had still been 1.144m m³ in the second quarter and 1.073m m³ in the first. Gauged on product value, the figure fell by 14 % to 582.3m US$. In the second quarter, the US statistics authority had recorded an increase of 9 % to 729.8m US$, and in the first +4 % to 652.9m US$.

The greater reduction in the volume in the third quarter compared to the value is attributable to low-price bulk assortments, such as red oak at -29 % to 230,592 m³ and -30 % to 140.0m US$, having been more heavily affected than more costly ones such as white oak and walnut. As such, the worldwide exports of white oak only fell by 5 % in volume to 179,531 m³ and by 5 % in value to 129.3m US$. Walnut is the only wood species show in the statistics to have even risen by 1 % in volume to 57.522 m³ and by 9 % in value to 75.9m US$.

An above-average reduction of -32 % was recorded in hardwood-timber exports to the “East Asia” sales region to 436,814 m³ and -40 % to 296.3m US$, of which China is a part. A reduction of 33 % to 411,840 m³ was established across the whole range of hardwood timber assortments for China alone. The export value fell by 30 % to 273.0m US$. This rebuts a number of market players’ assumptions that Chinese resellers and value-adders stocked up on products prior to the introduction of higher import duty in September as a result of the trade dispute between the USA and China.

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