Imports set records in March
US imports of tropical hardwood, hardwood plywood and
related wood products rose to record levels in March.
While record dollar figures may be due partly to inflation
import volume records were set for both sawn tropical
hardwood and hardwood plywood.
Wooden furniture imports shattered their previous all-time
high while imports of assembled floor panels and
mouldings saw their highest values since well before the
Tropical hardwood imports rise to a record high
US imports of sawn tropical hardwood rose by 21% in
March to their highest level in more than 10 years. The
28,129 cubic metres imported in March marked the fourth
straight month above the 20,000 cunbic metres.
Total imports through the first quarter of 2022 were more
than three times that of Q1 of 2021. Most of the increase
for the month came in the category of ¡°other tropical¡±
woods which would appear to include woods counted as
jatoba until this year. Official Jatoba imports are down
96% through the first quarter most likely due to
reclassification rather than a marked change in trade
volume. Imports of mahogany rose 13% in March and are
up 103% year to date while imports of padauk rose 77%
and are ahead 20% year to date.
Imports from Brazil and Indonesia were very strong
throughout the first quarter of 2022. Imports from Brazil
rose 34% in March and are up more than 10-fold year to
date. Imports from Indonesia gained 87% in March and
are up more than 15-fold year to date.
Imports from nearly all trading partner nations are up more
than 10% through the first quarter with the exception of
Ecuador. Imports from Ecuador rose 6% in March but are
down 57% for the first quarter.
Canada¡¯s imports of sawn tropical hardwood rose 10% in
March. The rise was driven by a 37% increase in imports
from Cameroon and an 89% increase in imports from the
US. Imports from Cameroon, Canada¡¯s leading supplier,
are up 120% for the first quarter over 2021.
Imports from Brazil fell 75% in March and are down 37%
so far this year. Total imports are up 38% through the first
Hardwood plywood imports soar to record level
Monthly US imports of hardwood plywood rose above the
400,000 cubic metre level for the first time ever in March.
Imports rose 22% for the month and are up 64% year to
date versus 2021. Imports from Russia have yet to see a
drop-off as a result of the Ukraine invasion. Imports from
Russia gained 13% in March and are up 16% through the
Imports from all major trading partner nations were up
more than 10% in the first quarter with Vietnam leading
the way. Imports from Vietnam rose 11% in March were
up 157% through the first quarter. Imports from Malaysia
rose 61% in March and were up through the first quarter
Veneer imports rebound
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer rebounded from a
slow February, rising 76% in March.
Imports from Italy rose more than 7-fold in March while
imports from China and India more than doubled. Imports
from Cameroon fell by 24% in March but still managed to
surpass last year¡¯s pace by 70% through the first quarter.
Overall imports of tropical hardwood veneer are up 68%
so far this year, with imports from Italy and India both
more than doubling last year¡¯s first quarter totals.
Hardwood flooring imports surge
US imports of hardwood flooring moved higher in March,
rising 36% to mark the strongest month since November
2018. Imports from Brazil rose 74% in March and are up
24% over 2021 through the first quarter.
Imports from Malaysia are ahead 44% through the quarter
after more than tripling in March over the previous month.
Despite falling in March, imports from China and
Indonesia remained well ahead of 2021 totals through the
first quarter. Total imports are up 13% year to date.
Imports of assembled flooring panels rose 14% in March
to fall just short of the record dollar amount set in January.
Total imports are up 86% through the first quarter as
imports from most major trading nations are up strongly.
Imports from Vietnam jumped 49% in March and are
ahead 72% year to date, and imports from Canada are up
35% for the month and 29% year to date. Imports from
Thailand cooled 31% in March but are up 10-fold through
the first quarter and lead all other nations. Imports from
China fell 44% in March and are down 4% through the
Moulding imports set post-pandemic high
US imports of hardwood mouldings leapt 43% in March to
reach their highest level in nearly five years.
Imports from Brazil more than doubled in March and are
up 44% over 2021 through the first quarter of the year.
Imports from Malaysia nearly tripled in March and are up
30% year to date.
Imports from Canada remain solid, growing 44% in March
and up 49% year to date. Imports from China fell 7% in
March but are up 23% year to date. Total imports of
hardwood moulding are ahead 41% over 2021 through the
Wooden furniture imports set record at over US$2.4
US imports of wooden furniture moved back into record
territory in March, rising 27% to reach their highest level
for a single month. The US$2.437 billion imported in
March was 19% higher than last March.
Imports from Mexico, Indonesia, and India all rose sharply
and are well ahead of last year¡¯s totals through the first
quarter of the year. Imports from Vietnam, which have
been falling over the last few months, rebounded rising
45% in March, but are still trailing 2021 imports by 7%
through the first quarter. Imports from China fell 3% in
March but are up 11% year to date. Total imports of
wooden furniture are ahead by 10% through March.
Economy dipped in first quarter
The nation's gross domestic product -- the broadest
measure of economic activity -- declined at an annualised
rate of 1.4% between January and March according to the
"advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic
This was an abrupt reversal of the prior year's strong
growth and the 6.9% growth pace recorded in the final
quarter of last year, and the worst performance since the
pandemic recession in the second quarter of 2020.
The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private
inventory investment, exports, federal government
spending, and state and local government spending, while
imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP,
Personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential
fixed investment, and residential fixed investment