Duties on Chinese plywood triggers anger and
The final antidumping and countervailing duties of up to
378.26% were condemned by the American Alliance for
Hardwood Plywood, who represents US importers,
distributors and manufacturers. The Alliance maintains the
plywood from China is different from American plywood,
and believes the duties will mainly hurt US manufacturers
Plywood imports dip
Hardwood plywood imports increased 8% in September,
but year-to-date imports are still lower than at the same
time last year, before the US imposed antidumping and
countervailing duties on plywood from China.
The US imported 181,493 cu.m. of hardwood plywood in
September. The value of plywood imports declined 2%
from August.Hardwood plywood imports from China
increased in March, but at 65,650 cu.m. the volume was
well below the monthly 100,000 to 200,000 cu.m. before
the US Department of Commerce imposed the duties.
China remains the largest supplier of hardwood plywood
to the US market despite the duties.
It is too earlier to assess the long-term changes of the
duties on supply chains, but Malaysia has seen a strong
gain in year-to-date shipments to the US (+47%). Imports
from Indonesia, Cambodia and Ecuador have also
Ghana and India supply more tropical veneer to US
Tropical hardwood veneer imports fell to US$1.8 million
in September. Year-to-date tropical veneer imports were
almost half compared to the same time last year.
The month-on-month declined was mainly in veneer
imports from Italy. Ghana and India increased their veneer
exports to the US in September. Cote d¡¯Ivoire and India
were the largest sources of tropical veneer imports in
Few changes in moulding imports compared to 2016
Imports of hardwood moulding were worth US$15.2
million in September, down 12% from the previous
month. Year-to-date imports were unchanged from
Imports from China increased in September bringing up
China¡¯s share in total moulding imports to one third. Yearto-
date imports from Brazil and Malaysia both fell over
20% compared to the same time last year.
Canada and Indonesia benefit most from higher US
Hardwood flooring and assembled flooring panel imports
were worth US$4.2 million and US$13.3 million
respectively in September. Year-to-date imports of
hardwood flooring jumped 20% from September 2016,
while assembled flooring imports were down year-to-date.
Canada benefited the most from the growth in hardwood
flooring demand in the US and almost tripled year-to-date
exports to the US from 2016. Hardwood flooring from
Indonesia increased 28% month-over-month to US$0.7 in
September, while imports from China and Malaysia
Imports of assembled flooring panels from Indonesia and
Thailand were down in September, but year-to-date both
countries exported more to the US than at the same time in
Indonesia exports more wooden furniture to US in
Wooden furniture imports declined 4% in September to
US$1.50 billion. Year-to-date imports were up 11% from
September 2016 with all major suppliers exporting more
in 2017 than last year.
Furniture imports from China, Vietnam, Mexico and India
were down in September. Imports from Canada increased,
but the strongest growth was in wooden furniture from
Indonesia. Imports from Indonesia grew 21% month-overmonth
to US$44.8 million in September.
Imports of wooden kitchen furniture decreased most in
September, followed by upholstered seating and bedroom
Economic indicators continue to improve
GDP increased at an annual rate of 3% percent in the third
quarter of 2017, according to the preliminary estimate by
the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter,
GDP growth was 3.1%.
The unemployment rate was 4.1% in October, down from
4.2% in September. Jobs increased in manufacturing,
professional and business services.
According to the Institute for Supply Management
economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in
October. Both wood products and furniture manufacturing
industries reported growth from the previous month.
Consumer confidence in the economy declined in
November from the previous month, when the University
of Michigan¡¯s consumer confidence index reached its
highest level since 2004. Despite the month-over-month
decline, consumers were more certain about future higher
income and good job prospects. This certainty along with
rising home prices and stock market is expected to boost
consumer spending. Online retails sales were 18% higher
than last year at the start of the Thanksgiving weekend
Strong demand for single-family housing
Housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 1,290,000, according to the US Department
of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce
Department. This is lower than in October 2016 but
represents a 14% increase from September.
Building permits increased nation-wide by more than 6%
in October, pointing towards higher building activity in the
Single-family construction increased year-to-date
compared to the same time last year. Builders¡¯ confidence
in the market for new single-family homes grew in
November to the second-highest level since May 2005,
according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Demand for housing is growing steadily driven by
economic growth and low unemployment.
Existing-home sales increased in October to their strongest
pace since earlier this summer, according to the National
Association of Realtors.
Furniture market update
Growth in the furniture industry slowed a bit in August,
but the overall market outlook is positive for 2018.
Economic growth and strong consumer confidence are
expected to strengthen demand for furniture.
New furniture orders increased 1% in August from the
same time last year, according to the Smith Leonhard
industry survey of residential furniture manufacturers and
distributors. Almost 70% of survey respondents reported
higher orders year-to-date compared to 2016.
Furniture shipments increased 23% in August from the
previous month, but the surge was mainly due to the
summer holiday shutdown at many companies.
Retail sales at furniture and home furnishing stores grew
almost 4% year-to-date compared to the same period in
2016. The growth in furniture sales surpassed that of most
other department-type merchandise, according to US
Census data. Only gasoline, building material and garden
supplies sales grew at a higher rate from last year than