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China Wood Products Prices

01-15th March 2009


US Dollar Exchange Rates of  13th Mar. 2009
China Yuan 6.8382
Report from China
 


Chinas log imports drop, while sawnwood imports rise
In 2008, Chinas wood industry was strongly impacted by
the international financial crisis. Based on statistics from
China Customs, imports of logs dropped for the first time,
while sawnwood imports continued to rise. A total of
29.57 million m³ of logs valued at USD5.182 billion were
imported in 2008, down 20% by volume and 3% by value
from 2007. These results, which have never been seen in
the last ten years, largely resulted from low demand for
international furniture and plywood. Another reason
causing the reduction of imports was Russias increased
export tariff, which led to a sharp drop in Chinas imports
of Russian logs.

On the other hand, Chinas imports of sawnwood
continued to increase. A total of 7 million m³ of
sawnwood valued at USD2 billion was imported in 2008,
up 9.6% by volume and 15% by volume, respectively,
from 2007. This was mainly caused by rising prices over
the period. With prices of logs increasing, some
manufacturers used sawnwood as materials instead of
logs.

As a large producer of wood-based panels, China had
historically ranked first in the world in terms of outputs of
plywood and fiberboard. In recent years, however, Chinas
imports of wood-based panels have dropped. China
exported 7.18 million m³ of plywood in 2008, down 18%
by volume and 5% by value from 2007 levels. The country
also exported 1.88 million tons of fiberboard in 2008,
down 18% by volume and up 1% by value from 2007
levels.

Due to the rapid economic development and improvement
of living standards in China, imports of high-grade
wooden furniture have been growing steeply, reaching a
peak of USD312 million in 2008, up 41% from 2007.
However, due to the severely declining economic
conditions in some developed countries, especially the US,
exports of wooden furniture in China dropped 14% from
2007 levels. The export value of Chinas wooden furniture
rose slightly (3%) due to rising unit prices. Nevertheless,
statistics from China Customs showed wooden furniture as
the most important exported product in Chinas forest
products trade, with its export value accounting for 36% of
the nations total export value of wood products in 2008.

In 2008, a total of 9.52 billion tons of pulp (including a
small amount of non-wood pulp) valued at USD6.7 billion
were imported, up 12% by volume and 21% by value from
2007. A total of 24.2 million tons of waste paper were
imported, valued at USD5.55 billion and rising 7% by
volume and 37% by value of 2007. Imports of these two
paper materials accounted for 26% and 21% of the total
import value of wood products in China. However,
imports and exports of both paper and paperboard fell in
2008. With the rapid development of the domestic paper
industry, demand for foreign paper products decreased
gradually. Additionally, in light of the global financial
crisis, demand from international markets has remained
depressed.

Timber imports through Zhangjiangang Port rise slightly
Unlike other areas of China, imports of logs through
Zhangjiagang Port continued to increase slightly. A total
of 3.38 million m³ of logs valued at USD859 million were
imported in 2008, up 0.9% and 4% respectively from
2007. Imports through peripheral ports, such as Yangzhou
and Taizhou ports, fell considerably. Imports of ore and
coal through the port almost stopped, which allowed docks
to be used for unloading logs and enabled a variety of logs
for buyers to choose.

Oceania also replaced Africa as the major supplier of logs
at Zhangjiagang Port. A total of 1.66 million m³ of logs
were imported from Oceania in 2008, up 11% from 2007.
Of the total, 1.36 million m³ were from PNG, up 37%
from 2007, and 298,100 m³ were from Solomon Islands, a
jump of 13%. Logs from Oceania were mainly used for
plywood, with a small amount of logs used for furniture
and flooring.

A total of 1.43 million m³ of logs were imported from
Africa in 2008. Gabon, Cameron, Congo and Equatorial
Guinea were the main supply countries, of which 72% of
total log imports came from Gabon. Compared with 2007,
imports from Gabon fell 12%, Equatorial Guinea declined
66% and Cameroon fell 45%. This situation largely
resulted form the above-mentioned countries having
adopted new policies to ban or restrict log exports.

Imports from Southeast Asia were 268,300 m³, up 4.5%
from 2007. Malaysia and Myanmar were the major
suppliers of Southeast Asian logs. Imports from these two
countries represented 99% of total log imports from the
region. Log imports from Malaysia fell 14% from 2007,
while imports from Myanmar rose 70%. Finally, about
189,400 m³ of logs arrived in containers, up 41% from the
previous year. Containers were used for transporting large
diameter logs mainly from Africa, which accounted for
18% of total logs in containers through the port.

China establishes first Intellectual Property Federation
of the Bamboo Industry

With an area of 5.2 million ha of bamboo forest, China has
the worlds largest bamboo resources as well as bamboo
production and processing activities. Over the past twenty
years, China has developed a wide variety of bamboo
products and thousands of varieties of the species. The
output value of the bamboo industry in China has reached
nearly RMB100 billion yuan in 2008.

However, it was reported that entities in foreign countries
have infringed upon the intellectual property associated
with Chinas bamboo industry. To counter these problems,
the Bamboo Processing and Research Center of Nanjings
Forestry University and the Huacheng Legal Office in
Shanghai, in cooperation with thirty bamboo enterprises,
have set up the Nan Lin Intellectual Property Federation of
Bamboo Industry to cope with tort procedures involving
intellectual property rights.

 

Abbreviations

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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