Tropical hardwood imports drop to lowest
level of the
Imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell for a third straight
month to a level well below any other month this year.
August imports of 17,983 cubic metres were down 24%
from the previous month as imports failed to break 20,000
cu.m for the first time in 2022.
Imports of Virola, Jatoba, Paduak, and Acajou d’Afrique
all fell more than 50% from the previous month while
imports of Ipe, Keruing, and Sapelli fell by more than
25%. Imports of Cedro, Mahogany and Meranti were up
sharply while imports of Balsa showed a moderate gain.
Imports from Brazil dropped 50% in August while imports
from Cameroon (down 39%), Congo/Brazzaville (down
37%), and Malaysia (down 27%) also fell significantly.
Canada’s imports of sawn tropical imports were able to
rebound from an anemic July, rising 23% in August.
While the month’s imports were 16% higher than that of
the previous August, they remained below any other
month in 2021 with the exception of July.
Imports of Meranti were at their highest level in three
years and imports of Mahogany more than doubled. Total
imports are up 30% over last year through August with
imports of Sapelli, Iroko, Virula, Imbuia, and Balsa all
enjoying healthy gains.
Hardwood plywood imports rebound
After four months of decline, US imports of hardwood
plywood bounced back in August, gaining 11% over the
previous month. However, the 302,298 cubic metres
imported was 7.4% less than the previous August.
Imports from Malaysia recovered from a poor July while
volumes from Russia somehow managed to more than
double in August even as the total dollar value of those
imports fell by nearly 30%. Imports from Vietnam and
China also showed healthy gains.
Total imports for 2022 are up 27% over last year through
to August with most trading partners ahead more than
10%. The exception is imports from Russia, which are
down 9% on the year.
Veneer imports take another big leap
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer made strong
gains for the fourth consecutive month, this time rising
59% in August over the previous month. Totaling more
than US$5.4 million, August imports were up nearly 150%
over August of 2021 and the highest since 2015.
Imports from Italy grew by 132% to their highest level in
more than 10 years while imports from Cote d’Ivoire and
India both gained more than 60%. Imports from
Cameroon, despite falling 26% in August, remain ahead of
last year’s pace by 178% year to date.
Total hardwood veneer imports are up 49% year to date
with every major trading partner ahead by at least 10%.
Hardwood flooring imports down
Imports of hardwood flooring fell 7% in August. Imports
were nearly 6% lower than the previous August as imports
from China, Indonesia and Brazil all fell sharply. Taking
up the slack was imports from Malaysia, which nearly
quadrupled in August, rising to their best month in nearly
four years. Thanks to the gain, year-to-date imports from
Malaysia are now up 39% over last year. Overall imports
of hardwood flooring are up 13% over 2021 year to date.
Imports of assembled flooring panels were relatively flat
in August, rising 1%. Imports from Brazil jumped 56%
while imports from Vietnam fell 26% and imports from
Canada dropped by 17%. Overall imports of assembled
flooring panels are up 37% this year over the previous
year through August.
Moulding imports dip
US imports of hardwood mouldings fell by a modest 2%
in August. Imports from Brazil fell by 61% from July’s
total but were still level with that of the previous August
and remain up 74% year to date.
Imports from most other countries were relatively flat for
the month. Total imports of hardwood molding are up
29% year to date with imports from China, Malaysia, and
Canada all up by nealrly one third.
Wooden furniture imports down for a third month
While US imports of wooden furniture fell for a third
straight month in August, they fell at a much lower rate
than in the past couple of months. At US$2.07 billion,
August imports were down 2% from the previous month
and were 8% below August 2021 figures.
Imports from India fell 24% to their lowest level in more
than a year while imports from China fell 11% to their
lowest level in more than two years. Imports from
Malaysia and Indonesia both gained in the 10% range.
Despite the downward trend, total imports for the year
remain ahead of last year, up 6% year to date.
Lumber prices back to around their pre-Covid levels
Softwood lumber prices entered October at their lowest
level in more than two years, bringing two-by-fours back
to what they cost before the pandemic building boom and
pointing to a sharp slowdown in construction.
Lumber futures ended October at US$422.50 per thousand
board feet, down about one-third from a year ago and
more than 70% from their peak in March, when the
Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to fight
Lumber has led the way down for commodities since the
US central bank took aim at rising consumer prices and
the overheated housing market. Now home builders say
that cheaper wood is giving them wiggle room to offer
buyer incentives and to trim prices without crimping their
Major cabinet companies resign from association over
American Woodmark, MasterBrand Cabinets and
Cabinetworks Group have resigned from the Kitchen
Cabinet Manufacturer's Association (KCMA) because of a
difference of opinion regarding trade matters.
The KCMA said that the three companies voted to leave
the group after the KCMA board voted down their
proposals to withdraw petitions regarding broadening the
scope of inquiries into Chinese efforts to circumvent
tariffs on wood cabinets and vanities by funneling their
products through third-party countries.
In a statement the KCMA said: “[In] April 2020, in
response to petitions filed by KCMA to combat unfairly
traded imports from China, the US Department of
Commerce issued anti-dumping and countervailing duty
orders on wooden cabinets, vanities and components
thereof (“WCV”) from China. The relief provided by
these orders to the domestic industry was being eroded by
WCV that were made in China and then transshipped
through Malaysia and Vietnam to the United States.
In April 2022, the KCMA requested that the Commerce
Department conduct scope inquiries and anticircumvention
proceedings to address this problem and
protect tens of thousands of American cabinet jobs. The
three companies’ departure followed the KCMA board’s
discussion and rejection of their proposal to immediately
cause KCMA to withdraw the scope and anticircumvention
petitions related to Chinese-origin WCV
exported from Vietnam and Malaysia into the United