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Less sawnwood imported by USA from Europe

22.04.2021 − 

In February, the USA imported a total of 191,532 m³ of sawn softwood from the EU (EU-27), roughly 5 % less than a year earlier. The latest data from the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) shows sharply contrasting development in the import figures for the individual European countries. For the imports from Germany, for example, the FAS recorded an increase of 47 % to 114,771 m³. Germany’s share of the total EU imports is up from 39 % in the same month of last year to the present 60 %. Growth against last year was also recorded in imports from Romania (+89 % to 28,023 m³) and Austria (+18 % to 20,347 m³). In contrast, the volume imported from Sweden was just about a seventh of last year’s figure at 9,902 m³.

In spite of the reduction in February, the volume of sawn softwood imported by USA from Europe in the first two months of this year was roughly 19 % higher than a year earlier at 494,084 m³. Roughly 51 % of the imported volume or 251,492 m³ was accounted for by Germany (+33 %). Although Sweden remains at second place with 76,623 m³, a reduction of roughly a third arose against last year due to the low February figures. According to information from Swedish shippers, whole shiploads of sawn softwood for the USA were handled again in March, leading to expectations that the import figures for that month will be at least on par with last year’s level.

From what European exporters say, the high level of exports to the USA is going to be maintained for the time being. In spite of the sharp rise in sawn-softwood prices in Europe too, recently, the export volumes to the USA planned for April/May are more or less on par with or partly higher than the figures for 2020. The prices European shippers can obtain in the USA are still well above US$1,000/1,000 bdft ex mill and therefore also higher than those on other sales markets.

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