China’s log imports in 2017 totalled 55.43 million cubic metres valued at US$9.927 billion, a year on year increase of 14% in volume and 23% in value. The average price for imported logs was US$179 per cubic metre, a year on year increase of 8%.
Of total log imports, 2017 softwood log imports rose 13% to 38.38 million cubic metres, accounting for 69% of the national total, a 1% decline on 2016 levels. The average price for imported softwood logs in 2017 was US$134 per cubic metre, up 11% on levels in 2016.
New Zealand still the top source of logs
New Zealand was the main log supplier to China in 2017 accounting for 26% of total log imports. Imports from New Zealand totalled 14.36 million cubic metres in 2017, a year on year increase of 19%.
The second ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 11.27 million cubic metres, accounting for about 20% of the national total. In 2017 a year on year increase of just 1% was recorded for log imports from Russia.
Average prices for imported logs both from New Zealand and Russia rose 12% and 9% respectively in 2017.
Hardwood log imports
Hardwood log imports grew 16% to 17.05 million cubic metres (31% of the national total log imports). The average price for imported hardwood logs in 2017 was US$280 per cubic metre, up 11% on 2016.
Of total hardwood log imports, tropical log imports were 9.65 million cubic metres valued at US$2.846 billion, up 6% in volume and 10% in value from 2016, accounting for 17% of the national total import volume.
Imported hardwood log species
The main imported hardwood log species are birch (11%), oak (7%), Chinese redwood (6%), okoume (6%), beech (5%), eucalyptus (5%), North American hardwood (5%) and poplar (3%).
The volume of North America hardwood log imports surged over 100%, beech, oak, ash and Chinese redwood hardwood log imports rose 52%, 42%, 27% and 24% respectively. However, the volume of merbau log imports fell 3%.