US Dollar Exchange Rates of
China Yuan 6.7122
Report from China
New transport channel in eastern
timber import efficiency
The first ¡°timber train¡± from Zhangjiagang (Jiangsu
province) to the Ganzhou International Dry Port arrived on
29 September. The train was loaded with 40 containers, all
of which contained wood imported through Zhangjiagang
by Linsentai Furniture Ltd and other local furniture
companies in Nankang. The goods were shipped using a
new water¨Crail combination transport channel: from
Zhangjiagang to Jiujiang Port by river, and then to the
Ganzhou International Dry Port by train.
Zhangjiagang is a traditional port for imports of African
and other timbers and one of the most important timbersupply
bases for the furniture industry in Nankang, a
district situated in Ganzhou city, Jiangxi province. The
new transportation channel has increased the ease of
shipping African timber and marks a further transition
from road transport to rail for timber imported via
Zhangjiagang. The new channel will reduce costs and
increase efficiency for furniture companies; increase the
supply of imported wood; and assist the development of
the Ganzhou Dry Port International Timber Trading
Ganzhou International Dry Port is promoting the
development of a national trading and distribution centre
for imported timber, and it held the Imported Timber Expo
in October. Cooperation among ports such as Shenzhen,
Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo and Zhangjiagang is
expected to open up further logistics channels for the
importation and distribution of timber in China and help
create a hub for timber import and trade businesses close
to the port, with benefits for a wide range of woodconsuming
Per capita income rises but spending drops
Per capita disposable income reached nearly RMB 23,800
in China in the first three quarters of 2020, a nominal
increase of 3.9% over the same period in 2019 and a real
increase of 0.6%. The median per capita disposable
income of Chinese households was RMB 20,500, up by
As disposable income rose, however, household
consumption expenditure declined by 3.5% in nominal
terms and by 6.6% in real terms, to RMB 14,923.
Although expenditure rose on food, tobacco and alcohol
over the period, it fell for all other categories, including on
China¡¯s real estate market heating up again
Meanwhile, however, overall national investment in real
estate development was RMB 10,300 billion in the first
three quarters of 2020, an increase of 5.6%, year-on-year.
This amount comprised RMB 7,660 billion in residential
buildings, RMB 437 billion in office buildings and RMB
955 billion in buildings for commercial businesses. The
total floorspace under construction was 8,600 million
Sawnwood imports drop in first half
According to China Customs data, China imported 17
million cubic metres of sawnwood in the first half of 2020,
a decline of 8% compared with the same period in 2019, at
a value of US$3.7 billion (a drop of 17%, year-on-year).
The average price of imported sawnwood was US$217 per
cubic metre, down by 7% over the same period in 2019.
Sawn softwood imports fell by 10% in the first six months
of 2020, to 12.7 million cubic metres, which was 75% of
the total volume of imported sawnwood. The average price
of imported sawn softwood was US$171 per cubic metre,
down by 6% over the same period in 2019.
Sawn hardwood imports fell by 9% to 4.3 million cubic
metres in the same period, with volumes falling from
Thailand by 7%, from the United States by 15% and from
the Russian Federation by 34%. The average price of
imported sawn hardwoods in the first half of 2020 was
US$358 per cubic metre, down by 9% over the same
period in 2019.
Russian Federation the major sawn softwood
The Russian Federation was the main sawn softwood
supplier to China in the first half of 2020, despite a fall in
volume of 12%, to 7.63 million cubic metres, which was
60% of the national total.
Meanwhile, China¡¯s sawn softwood imports surged from
Belarus (up by 147%), Sweden (+50%), Germany (+47%)
and Ukraine (25%).
Average prices dropped for almost all sawn softwood
suppliers in the first six months of 2020 ¨C including by
28% from the United States, by 22% from Canada and by
20% from Sweden. In contrast, average prices for
imported sawn softwood rose by 2% from the Russian
China¡¯s sawn hardwood imports increase from
China¡¯s sawn hardwood imports from the United Republic
of Tanzania surged to 174,000 cubic metres in the first
half of 2020, from just over 1,000 cubic metres in the first
half of 2019; this was the result of a dramatic plunge (-
77%) in the average price of hardwood exports from this
country. China¡¯s sawn hardwood imports also rose
significantly from Canada (+32% by volume).
In contrast, China¡¯s sawn hardwood imports from Viet
Nam fell away in the first half of 2020 because most of the
production was consumed by Chinese furniture factories in
Viet Nam. Some Chinese furniture factories have
transferred to Viet Nam due to China¡¯s stricter
environmental controls and increasing tariffs on Chinese
products in the United States.
Average prices for China¡¯s imported sawn hardwood
declined in all markets in the first six months of 2020.
Slight rise in China¡¯s tropical sawnwood import
Of total sawn hardwood imports, tropical sawnwood
imports accounted for 2.99 million cubic metres (18% of
all sawn hardwood imports) in the first half of 2020, up by
2% compared with the same period in 2019. The value of
these imports was US$942 million, down by 11%, yearon-
The average price of imported tropical sawnwood was
US$315 per cubic metre, down by 13% over the same
period in 2019.
Thailand was the main supplier of China¡¯s tropical
sawnwood imports in the first half of 2020, at 1.67 million
cubic metres, down by 7%, year-on-year. This volume was
worth US$453 million, down by 15%.
The top ten suppliers of tropical sawnwood to China in the
first half of 2020 were Thailand (56% of the total volume),
Gabon (9%), the United Republic of Tanzania (6%),
Brazil (5.3%), the Philippines (4.7%), Indonesia (3.1%),
Cameroon (2.2%), Malaysia (2.0%), Viet Nam (1.98%)
and Myanmar (1.94%).
In the early October Market Report it was stated:
The latest efforts to clean the air will impact wood product
manufacturers and it has been reported that 39 companies
have been ordered to stop production and some furniture
and wood-based panel enterprises are included.
The text should have said: companies in 39 industrial
sectors, including furniture and wood-based panel
enterprises, will stop production.