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Significant drop in beech roundwood exports to China

05.04.2019 − 

Over the course of the second half of 2018, German beech roundwood exports to China declined at an increasing rate. Whilst in the first two quarters, at 155,325m³ and 154,917m³, beech roundwood exports to China surpassed the comparative figure of the preceding year by 18% and 24% respectively, exports in the third and fourth quarter developed along negative lines. From July to September, at 26,387m³, the volume of beech roundwood exported to China declined by 17%, and in the fourth quarter, at 41,881m³, by as much as 44%.

The decline in the third quarter was due to base effects because, following weather-related delays in the supply of logs, quite significant volumes were still shipped to China in the third quarter of 2017, and the full extent of closures of businesses in China which had not acquired the necessary approvals was not yet noticeable. The main reason for the decline in the fourth quarter, however, was the slower growth rate of the Chinese economy. Over the course of the fourth quarter, exporters also repeatedly drew attention to the uncertainty and reticence in the purchasing behaviour of Chinese customers, which was attributed to the tariff dispute between the USA and China, and also affected processing of beech.

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