Sawn tropical hardwood imports rise
Imports of sawn tropical hardwood rose by 5% by volume
in May. The 9,931 cubic metres imported in May was the
highest monthly volume so far this year. The rise was
fueled by a 22% increase in imports from Ecuador, a 29%
increase in imports from Malaysia, and a 258% increase in
imports from Congo (Brazzaville).
Imports of sapelli and acajou d¡¯Afrique both rose around
50% over the previous months to levels more than double
that of May 2020. Imports of mahogany fell 89% from
their strongest month in 5 years. Despite the drop,
mahogany imports were still about even with May 2020
volume and are still up 77% year to date through May.
Imports of ipe and jotoba, no longer included in the overall
reported totals, were both up handily. Jotoba imports
gained 58% in May and are up 10% year to date while ipe
imports rose 29% in May and are up 17% year to date.
Total tropical hardwood import volume (including ipe and
jatoba) is up 9% year to date.
Canadian imports of sawn tropical hardwood cooled in
May after a strong April, falling by 8%. Imports of iroko,
mahogany and balsa all fell sharply.
Hardwood plywood imports soar
Imports of hardwood plywood jumped 24% by volume in
May to the highest volume in more than 4 years. At
306,116 cubic metres, volume was more than 20% higher
than the previous May and the highest since February
Imports from Vietnam rose 51%, while imports from
Malaysia rose 65%, imports from Indonesia rose 31%, and
imports from Cambodia rose 21%. Year-to-date imports
are up by 20% overall with imports from Indonesia and
Cambodia both up more than 40%. Imports from China
fell by 16% in May and are down 7% year to date.
Veneer imports surge again
Imports of tropical hardwood veneer surged again in May,
rising 41% by volume as imports continue to recover from
a weak winter. Imports from Italy and India were the
reason. Imports from Italy rose by 33% while imports
from India nearly tripled. This more than offset a 98%
drop in imports from China.
Total imports for the month were nearly double that of the
previous May, yet year-to-date imports are still 11%
behind 2020 through May.
Hardwood flooring imports rebound
Imports of hardwood flooring grew by 16% by volume in
May, gaining back most of April¡¯s loss. Imports from
Indonesia and China, which have been down considerably
so far this year, both made strong gains in May with
imports from China rising 31% and imports from
Indonesia up 41%.
Imports from Brazil were up 24% In May and are ahead
172% year to date. Overall hardwood flooring imports are
up 35% year to date through May.
Moulding imports gain
Imports of hardwood mouldings rose 14% by volume in
April as imports from Brazil and other key suppliers
returned to more traditional levels. Imports from Brazil
rebounded from an uncharacteristically bad April, rising
643% to return to its March level.
Imports also rose sharply from China (72%), Malaysia
(31%) and Canada (15%). Overall imports are up 14%
year to date.
Wooden furniture imports advance again
Imports of wooden furniture grew by 12% in May,
producing another record month. May¡¯s more than
US$2.25 billion in imports is a new high month, well over
twice that of last May and surpassing the all-time high set
Imports from Vietnam rose 20% in May and are up 73%
year to date. Imports from China grew 10% in May and
are up 57% year to date. Overall imports are up 60% year
Meanwhile, the overall US furniture market remains
sturdy. New orders for furniture remained strong in April,
up 239% from the same month last year, and a healthy
30% ahead of a more meaningful comparison with April
According to the latest Furniture Insights survey of
residential furniture manufacturers and distributors, yearto-
date orders are up 73% compared with 2020¡¯s first four
months ¨C and up 36% compared with January-April 2019.
Ken Smith, partner at accounting and consulting firm
Smith Leonard, which produces the monthly Furniture
Insights report, called that performance ¡°really
Cabinet sales hold steady
According to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers
Association¡¯s monthly Trend of Business Survey,
participating cabinet manufacturers reported net sales near
level in May. Overall sales increased 0.8% in May
compared to April. Custom sales were down 2.0%, semicustom
sales up 2.1%, and stock sales increased 0.5%.
Sales are vastly better than in 2020, with an increase in
overall cabinet sales of 32.9% for May 2021 compared to
the same month in 2020. Custom sales are up 26.9%,
semi-custom increased 32.6%, and stock sales increased
34.4%. These numbers reflect the continued recovery from
the height of the pandemic lockdown.
Overall, year-to-date cabinet sales are up 21.6% over
2020. Custom sales up 23.5%, semi-custom sales
increased 21.3% and stock sales increased 21.4%.
Lumber prices retreat but analyst says they¡¯ll head
The softwood lumber bubble has finally popped due to
eased demand and growing supplies in June. Lumber
futures tanked by more than 40% in June, the biggest
monthly drop in data kept since 1978, according to CNBC.
Lumber futures fell for six straight weeks, with the price
ending June at about US$710 per thousand board feet.
This comes after prices hit an all-time high closing price
of US$1,670.50 on May 7.
John Duncanson, Executive VP of Corton Capital and
timber analyst on the Corton Global Timber Fund, who
forecasted the rise and the subsequent crash, says right
now we are seeing the lowest prices we will get this year.
Duncanson told Yahoo Finance that the lower prices will
bring demand back up while harsh wildfires in the US and
Canada will squeeze supply. He predicts a price over
US$1,000 by September.