Imports retreat from record levels in April
US imports of tropical hardwood and related products fell
across the board in April from their March highs but
remain historically high. US imports of sawn tropical
hardwood fell by 8%, imports of hardwood plywood fell
7%, and imports of tropical hardwood veneer fell 27%.
US imports of hardwood fell 29% in April while
assembled flooring panels held up somewhat better, falling
Imports of hardwood mouldings decreased by 11% in
April while imports of wooden furniture fell 4% to
US$2.34 billion, a level still 17% higher than the previous
Sawn tropical hardwood imports pull back from record
Imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell by 8% in April,
receding from a record level in March. The 25,924 cubic
metres imported in April, while not a strong as earlier in
this year, is still at a level not seen since 2019. The April
decline was due chiefly to a 25% fall in ipe imports and a
67% drop in virola imports.
Imports of balsa, acajou d¡¯Afrique, cedro, keruing, and
padauk all fell more than 10% in April. Rising imports of
sapelli, mahogany, and iroko made up some of the loss.
Imports from Peru rose in April, their strongest month
since 2015. Imports from Peru so far this year are nearly
five times that of last year. Imports from Congo
(Brazzaville), Cote d¡¯Ivoire, and Cameroon were also up
sharply in April, while imports from Brazil and Ghana
were both down by about one-third.
Overall imports are more than triple that of last year,
however changes made this year by the US government in
how they are classifying tropical hardwoods make direct
Canada¡¯s imports of sawn tropical hardwood rose for the
third straight month in April gaining 6%. Imports from
Brazil and Ghana were both up sharply while imports from
Brazil recovered from a poor March performance.
Imports of sapelli rose 41% in April to their highest level
since September 2020. Sapelli imports to Canada are up
104% over 2021 so far this year. Total imports are up 29%
year to date.
Hardwood plywood imports from Vietnam remain
strong, but not other sources
US imports of hardwood plywood also fell from record
highs in April, dropping 7% from the previous month.
Despite the decline, April still saw the second highest
import total ever at 396,895 cubic metres.
Imports from Vietnam remain strong, rising 15% in April
while imports from all other major trading partners fell.
Imports from Vietnam are up 159% year to date over
Imports from Russia fell 34% but are still up 44% year to
date as April imports remained fairly even with last April
despite trade tensions between Russia and the US over
Ukraine. Overall hardwood plywood import volume is up
63% so far this year over 2021.
Veneer imports volatile but up 55% for the year
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer fell 27% in April
from March totals. However, April imports still managed
to outpace those of the previous April by 20%. While
month-to-month import totals from individual countries
remain uneven, the year-to-date numbers from most
trading partners are very favorable so far in 2022.
For example, imports were down sharply in April from
Ghana (down 74%), Cameroon (down 88%) and India
(down 51%) yet imports from each of the countries remain
well ahead of their 2021 pace.
Imports from Italy were up by less than 1% in April but
are ahead 79% year to date. Overall tropical hardwood
veneer imports are up 55% for the year so far.
Hardwood flooring imports cooled in April
US imports of hardwood flooring cooled in April, falling
29% from a strong March report. Imports fell across the
board with imports from Indonesia and Malaysia falling
by more than one-third and imports from China and Brazil
falling by about 20%.
Total imports remain up 11% year to date despite the
tumble, while imports from Indonesia remain more than
double that of 2021 through April.
Imports of assembled flooring panels held up somewhat
better, falling only 4% in April due to strong imports from
China. Imports from China rose 81% in April, the
strongest month for the year. Imports from China in April
were 30% higher than the previous April and are now
ahead of 2021 year to date. Imports from Canada,
Indonesia, and Vietnam all fell in April by about 10% but
remain well ahead of 2021 year to date.
Moulding imports fall from post-pandemic high
US imports of hardwood moulding decreased by 11% in
April, pulling back from their highest level in nearly five
years. However, April imports outpaced those of April
2021 by 44%.
Imports from Malaysia fell by 24% in April while imports
from Canada were off by 16%. Despite the decline, yearto-
date imports from Canada are up 43% while imports
from Malaysia are ahead 30%. Overall imports are up 42%
year to date.
Wooden furniture imports also fall from record March
US imports of wooden furniture fell 4% in April to
US$2.34 billion however this is still 17% higher than the
previous April. Imports from India rose 13% for the
month while imports from Mexico fell 12%. Imports from
most other countries fell less than 10% while imports from
Malaysia were flat. Total imports of wooden furniture are
up 11% year to date.