US Dollar Exchange Rates of
China Yuan 6.472
Report from China
Real estate investment continues to grow despite
signs of overheated market
The National Bureau of Statistics has released details of
real estate developments and sales in the first five months
of 2021. Between January and May this year investment in
real estate development rose 18.3% year on year and was
17.9% higher than in January to May 2019. Investment in
residential buildings in the first five months of 2021
increased almost 21%.
Real estate investment in the Eastern Region was up
percent year on year; in the Central Region investment
rose 25.5%; the Western Region by 16.4% and investment
in the Northeast increased 13.2%. In contrast to the
construction activity, investment in land for real estate
development dropped 7.5% year on year and land prices
The authorities have intensified efforts to take
out of the rise in house prices. Mortgage rates have risen
and local regulations have capped prices.
Sharp drop in log imports from PNG
Papua New Guinea has been the number one source for
China¡¯s tropical hardwood log imports for many years.
According to China Customs, tropical log imports from
PNG fell 37% to 450,000 cubic metres in the first quarter
of 2021 and this resulted in an overall decline in China¡¯s
tropical log imports.
China¡¯s tropical log imports totalled 1.92 million cubic
metres valued at US$471 million the first quarter of 2021,
down 4% in volume and 3% in value from the same period
of 2020. Tropical logs accounted for around 13% of total
log import volume in the first quarter of 2021.
The average price for imported tropical logs was US$246
CIF per cubic metre, up 1.4% on levels in the same period
China imported tropical logs mainly from Papua New
Guinea (23%), Solomon Islands (20%), Brazil (12%) and
Republic of Congo (9%). Just 4 countries supplied over
60% of China¡¯s tropical log requirements the first quarter
The CIF price for China¡¯s tropical log imports from
Equatorial Guinea soared 43% from US$273 per cubic
metre in the first quarter of 2020 to US$390 per cubic
metres in the first quarter of 2021. China¡¯s tropical log
imports from Equatorial Guinea in the first quarter of
2021were 28,400 cubic metres valued at US$11.07
million, down 81% in volume compared to the same
period in 2020.
In contrast, the CIF price for China¡¯s tropical log imports
from PNG rose 15% from US$179 per cubic metres in the
first quartet 2020 to US$206 per cubic metres in the first
quarter of 2021. The sharp price increase is partly the
reason why imports from PNG declined in the first
Tropical logs from Myanmar
Myanmar was a major source of tropical logs for China
before its log export ban. China¡¯s tropical log imports
from Myanmar had been declining before the ban
however, China¡¯s log imports from Myanmar in the first
quarter of 2021 amounted to 1,740 cubic metres valued at
USUS$202.56 million (CIF), a sharp rise year on year.
The average price for imported logs from Myanmar fell to
US$1,188 (CIF) per cubic metre, down 6% over the same
period of 2020.
Decline in China¡¯s tropical sawnwood imports in Q1
According to China¡¯s Customs data tropical sawnwood
imports were about 1.40 million cubic metres valued at
US$452 million in the first quarter of 2021, down 2% in
volume but up 4% in value from the same period of 2020
and accounted for 23% of the total sawnwood import
volumes in the first quarter of 2021.
Nearly 80% of China¡¯s tropical sawnwood imports were
from Thailand (59%), Gabon (11%) and Philippines (8%)
in the first quarter of 2021.
China¡¯s tropical sawnwood imports from Myanmar and
Laos rose 36% and 48% to 33,000 cubic metres and
14,000 cubic metres respectively however, imports fell 5%
from Gabon and 16% from Indonesia, to 147,000 cubic
metres and 30,000 cubic metres respectively.
Rise in China¡¯s hardwood log imports
According to China¡¯s Customs data hardwood log imports
from the main suppliers rose 21% to 131,154 cubic metres
in the first quarter 2020. The US still is the main supplier
of hardwood logs to China and hardwood log imports from
the US rose 26% to 115,353 cubic metres which resulted
in an increase in total import volumes.
The average CIF for China¡¯s imported North America
hardwood logs grew 12% to US$477 per cubic metre.
It¡¯s worth noting that the volumes of China¡¯s hardwood
log imports from Serbia surged about 400% to 405 cubic
metres in Q1 2021. This result benefits better trade
cooperation between China and Serbia, especially One
Belt and One Road initiatives. It has been reported that the
total value of bilateral goods import and export between
China and Serbia rose 52% to US$122.188 billion in 2020.
Panel producers in Shuyang City stop
It has been reported that many wood panel enterprises in
Shuyang city of Jiangsu province stopped or limited
production between from 22 June to 2 July. There are two
main reasons for this, one is the local wood processing
enterprises need to carry out safety inspections, the other
is that the soaring prices of raw materials led to weak
A large number of enterprises in both Shuyang City and
some cities in Shandong Province have stopped production
as prices for raw materials have soared after the New
The price of urea has risen from RMB1,800 to RMB2,800
per tonne. The price of melamine, which used to be
RMB4,000-5,000 per tonne, is now unmanageable with
prices in Shuyang reaching RMB13,000 per tonne.
Enterprises complain that trading is now a challenge. The
domestic market environment for home furnishing and
wood panels is weakening largely because the housing
market is subject to tough regulations. Those families
needing to furnish their home are now looking for lower
Only producers of branded products are doing well. For
wood panel enterprises, the home interior furnishing sector
is a challenge as end consumers are on a new track. Small
and medium-sized enterprises do not have the ability to
change quickly to meet these changing demands.
Large number of timber mills in Taicang to close
Numerous mills in Jiangsu province are planning or will
be required to close because they find it too expensive to
retool to meet current environmental and safety
regulations. This will impact timber imports. Analysts
write that the domestic timber sector and market is in
transition to a safe, standardised, orderly and healthy green
industrial environment. Measures to ensure timber
quarantine will be upgraded.
Raw material prices rising
In May 2021, China's PMI index declined to 51%. It has
remained at this around level for three consecutive months
indicating that the economy continued to recover. In May
the wood products and manufacturing sectors maintained a
good recovery and production rose along with domestic
demand but raw material prices accelerated pushing up
The GGSC-CN overall index for May registered 65.0%
(56.1% for last May and % 51.5% for May 2019), a drop
of 6% from the previous month but has stayed above the
critical value of 50% for three consecutive months
signaling an expansion by the forest products enterprises
represented in the GGSC-CN index. See below.
Respondents raised the following issues:
The price of raw materials is rising, and raw materials are
in short supply. Unstable supply of solid wood raw
Products in short supply
Veneer, okan, red oak, hackberry, black walnut
logs/boards, European oak and imported hardware
Commodities for which the price has been increased
taun, fibre core, black walnut, oak, fiberboard, reinforced
paper, core board, veneer, base material, glue, melamine,
formaldehyde, urea, hardware connectors.
Commodity of which the price has decreased
In the May 2021 GGSC-CN index two out of five subindices
rose and three fell. The production index registered
70%, a decline of 8.6% from the previous month but
remained above 50% for three consecutive months
indicating production by forest products enterprises
represented by GGSC-CN was better than the previous
The new order index registered 70%, a drop of almost
16% from the previous month but still indicates that the
ability of enterprises to obtain orders is better than that of
the previous month. Among them, the new export order
index reflecting international trade registered only 30%, a
big decline from the previous month. This indicates orders
from abroad in May fell compared to the previous month.
The main raw material inventory index registered 50%, a
deline of 14% from the previous month. It shows that the
raw material inventory of the superior forest products
enterprises is stable.
The employment index registered 70%, an increase of
6% from the previous month signaling a rise in
employment from the previous month. The supplier
delivery time index was 50%, an improvement from the
And GGSC-CN Index Report (May 2021)