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Wood Products Prices in The U.S. 

16-31th July 2013

Report from North America

 Tropical sawn hardwood imports recovered in April
US tropical sawn hardwood imports declined by 5% in May compared to levels in April. Imports of temperate sawn hardwood increased 22% in the same time period.

Temperate sawn hardwood imports were 49,444 cu.m. in May, compared to 19,889 cu.m. of tropical sawnwood imports.

Tropical sawn hardwood imports from the US three largest suppliers (Brazil, Ecuador and Cameroon) increased in May, while shipments from all other major sources were lower than in April.

Imports from Brazil almost doubled from April to 3,958 cu.m. (+19% year-to-date). Ipe imports increased to 2,410 cu.m. No Virola imports were reported in April, but 610 cu.m. were shipped in May.

Ecuador shipped 3,800 cu.m. of balsa in May, up from 2,808 cu.m. in April, but US balsa imports remain below 2012 level.

Imports from Cameroon were 3,121 cu.m. in May (+2% year-to-date). Sapeli shipments increased to 1,567 cu.m., while shipments of acajou dAfrique almost tripled to 1,387 cu.m.

Malaysian shipments to the US were 1,923 cu.m. in May, down 21% from the previous month (+1% year-to-date). The decline was mainly in keruing shipments (1,593 cu.m.).

Turnaround in Canadian wood product manufacturing
Wood product manufacturing has exceeded growth in most other manufacturing sectors, according to Statistics Canada.

In the last 12 months (June 2012 to May 2013) sales in the wood products sector grew by 19.7% from the same period a year earlier.

Over the same period total manufacturing sales (excluding wood products) declined by 1.1%.

The industrys recovery is mostly linked to growth in the US housing market. Canadian sawmills and wood preservation companies increased sales the most, driven by higher exports to the US.

Statistics Canada reports a 10.5% increase in wood prices over the past year as a result of higher demand in the sawmill and wood preservation industries.

The province of British Columbia has the largest wood product manufacturing industry in Canada, accounting for one third of the industrys national sales. While British Columbia was particularly hard hit by the downturn in the US housing market, its industry is now the fastest-growing in Canada.

Quebec is Canadas second largest wood product manufacturing province with a more diverse industry, which includes processed products such as millwork, windows and doors. However, the sectors benefiting most from the US housing market recovery are also sawmills and wood preservation.

Mexico enforcing new phytosanitary regulations
Mexicos Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources finalized phytosanitary regulations for wood imports in March 2013, and the revised regulations came into effect on July 2, 2013. The goal of the new regulations is to better protect Mexicos forests from invasive insects and other pests.

The US and several other countries (Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Spain, Fiji, the Philippines, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Russia, Taiwan, Uruguay and Venezuela) are allowed to export green and air dried sawnwood to Mexico without having to prepare a pest risk analysis.

All sawnwood needs to be bark free and have a phytosanitary certificate which documents the treatment: heat treated or kiln-dried to 19% or less, or fumigated with methyl-bromide.

The stricter regulations are expected to affect furniture manufacturers and other importers in Mexico who rely on hardwood imports from the US and other countries.

Updates on the regulations are available on the US Phytosanitary Export Database:


LM       Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel  Cu.m         Cubic Metre
QS        Qualite Superieure    Koku         0.278 Cu.m or 120BF
CI          Choix Industriel                                                       FFR           French Franc
CE         Choix Economique                                                        SQ              Sawmill Quality
CS         Choix Supplimentaire      SSQ            Select Sawmill Quality
FOB      Free-on-Board     FAS            Sawnwood Grade First and
KD        Kiln Dry                               Second 
AD        Air Dry        WBP           Water and Boil Proof
Boule    A Log Sawn Through and Through MR              Moisture Resistant
              the boards from one log are bundled                      pc         per piece      
              together                      ea                each      
BB/CC  Grade B faced and Grade C backed MBF           1000 Board Feet          
              Plywood   MDF           Medium Density Fibreboard
BF        Board Foot F.CFA         CFA Franc        
Sq.Ft     Square Foot              Price has moved up or down

Source: ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report

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