US Dollar Exchange Rates of 11th June 2010
China Yuan 6.8322
Report from China
Wood product imports retain upward trend
According to China Customs, the total imports of logs amounted to 11 million cu.m in the first four months of 2010, up 24% from the same period in 2009.
Log imports from Russia fell 6% from the same period last year to 4.9 million cu.m. On the other hand, imports from New Zealand rose 75% to 1.8 million cu.m and imports from other main supplier countries were also up.
In the first four months of 2010, China¡¯s sawnwood imports were 4 million cu.m, up 67% from the same period of 2009. The main sawnwood suppliers were Russia (up 31%), Canada (up 110%), Thailand (up 102%) and the USA (up 77%).
The buoyant real estate market in China¡¯s cities has significantly boosted demand for furniture. As a result, China¡¯s wood-based panel imports rose substantially. The imports of plywood, particleboard and fibreboard rose 37%, 17% and 6% respectively compared to the first four months last year.
Wood product exports register sharp gains
The total value of wooden furniture exports in the first four months of 2010 were US$2,772 million, up 37% from the first four months of 2009. Furniture exports to the US were worth US$870 million, up 20% over the same period last year. In comparison to the period in 2008, prior to global financial crisis, the export value to the USA fell about 1%.
China¡¯s plywood exports surged in the first four months of 2010. A total of 2 million cu.m of plywood was exported, an increase of 46% over the same period in 2009. China¡¯s exports to the US amounted to 376,500 cu.m, up 14% from the same period last year. Exports of plywood to United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan and Korea also rose 62%, 50%, 69% and 85% respectively.
The major plywood exporting provinces were Shandong (753,900 cu.m, up 39%), Jiangsu (711,600 cu.m, up 43%), Zhejiang (128,400 cu.m, up 28%), Guangdong (109,700 cu.m, up 68%) and Shanghai (56,400 cu.m, up 13%).
Fibreboard exports from January to April 2010 amounted to 476,800 tonnes, an increase of 73% from the same period last year. Exports to the US totalled 101,500 cu.m, up 55% from the same period last year. Exports to Russia, Saudi Arabia and Korea United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan and Korea also rose 68%, 44% and 247% respectively.
The major fibreboard exporting provinces were Jiangsu (308,900 tonnes, up 82%), Shandong (34,600 tonnes, up 33%) and Guangdong (26,900 tonnes, up 75%).
Some 28,500 tonnes of particleboard were exported during the first four months of 2010, up 30% from the same period last year. One third of the total particleboard exports were to Russia.
Impact of the weak Euro
Europe is the world¡¯s second largest wood product consumer area accounting for one third of global consumption. Most of wood product imports by European countries are from Asia. The EU is also the major wood product market for China accounting for 16% of China¡¯s total wood product exports in the first four months of 2010.
The continued weakness of the Euro has the effect of making Chinese exports less competitive in the Euro area. In May 2010, the average exchange rate was RMB8.4 per Euro, down 18% from the beginning of the year.
Analysts believe that the Euro area¡¯s economic downturn and weakening Euro will severely impact China¡¯s wood product trade in the following areas:
• export-oriented wood product manufacturers will suffer most and they have to readjust their foreign trade strategies;
• as a result of the slowdown in the European market, some of the exporting companies will sell their products in domestic market hence, increasing domestic competition;
• the effect will be long term, if the purchasing power of the Euro continues to weaken.
In addition, the Due Diligence Regulation being developed by the EU will further erode the competitiveness of Chinese manufacturers.
Boost for furniture manufacturing in Dongguan City
Steelcase Furniture, the biggest office manufacturer in the world, announced recently the establishment of a plant and R&D centre in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, which will be the company¡¯s biggest centre in Asia.
It is planned that 75% to 80% of the products from this plant will be sold in Chinese domestic markets and the rest will be exported to Japan, India and other Asian countries.
The Steelcase Furniture has 3 plants in Asia; in China, Malaysia and Japan.
Call for greater China-US cooperation in forestry
At the second meeting of the China-US Strategic and Economy Dialogue, the vice administrator of the State Forestry Administration, Madam Yin Hong, spoke on forestry cooperation between China and the USA.
Madam Yin Hong said that China and the USA have good cooperation in the fields of combating illegal logging, Chinese garden construction, Wetland and Reserve Action Plan and Network on Asia-Pacific Forest Rehabilitation and Sustainable Management. She appealed to the two countries to undertake common efforts in promoting greater cooperation in forest management and ecological conservation.
Main ports for logs and sawnwood imports
Nanjing, Manzhouli and Harbin were the three main log importing ports in China in the first quarter of 2010. Log imports through Nanjing Port were 2.3 million cu.m valued at US$463 million, accounting for 30% in volume and 36% in value of the total log imports. Imports through Manzhouli and Harbin were 1.6 million cu.m and 1 million cu.m, accounting for 21% and 13% of the total log imports to China respectively.
In terms of sawnwood imports, Shanghai, Guangdong and Manzhouli ranked top three in the first quarter of 2010. Shanghai imported 737,200 cu.m of sawnwood, Guangdong 679,500 cu.m and Manzhouli 431,200 cu.m accounting for 26%, 24% and 15% of China¡¯s total sawnwood imports respectively.