Tropical sawn hardwood imports rise
US imports of sawn tropical hardwood rose 15% in
September, rebounding from a yearly low in August. Still,
the 20,622 cubic metres in September imports fell below
that of all other months in 2022. Imports of Sapelli made
up the bulk of the gain, rising 51% over the previous
Imports of Sapelli were up 74% year to September.
Imports of Mahogany gained 37% in September and are
also up 37% year to date. Imports of Balsa were down
44% in September and are down more than 50% from
2021 year to date.
Imports from Cameroon and Congo (Brazzaville) were
both up sharply in September while imports from Brazil
recovered somewhat (up 16%) from a weak August
showing but were still well below the levels seen for most
of the year.
Canada’s imports of sawn tropical imports continued their
recent rally in September soaring 66% to return close to
the eight-year high set in June. Imports from Brazil
increased more than 20-fold in September to US$1.7
million—nearly twice the number of any month in the past
Imports of Mahogany rose 79% to their highest level in
two years. Canada’s total imports of sawn tropical
hardwood are up 41% over last year through September.
Hardwood plywood imports decline
US imports of hardwood plywood fell to a yearly low in
September, declining 17% from the previous month. The
249,636 cubic metres imported was 18% below that of the
Imports from Russia fell 78% in September to a new low
as tensions continue between Russia and the West. Imports
also fell significantly from Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
Yet, imports remain up sharply for the year so far from
most trading partners except from Russia, which is down
19% in 2022. Total imports are up 21% over last year
Despite steep decline, US veneer imports remain
The run up of US imports of tropical hardwood veneer
over the summer made the annual autumn decline look
excessive as imports fell 81% by value in September from
the seven-year high set in August. However, even with
the steep drop, September imports still managed to
outpace the previous September numbers by 18.5%.
Imports from Italy and Cote d’Ivoire both fell more than
90% in September while imports from Cameroon took a
complete holiday. Yet, imports from Cameroon are more
than double that of last year so far this year and imports
from Italy and Cote d’Ivoire are both ahead more than
Imports from China were the only gainer in September, up
65% for the month. Total imports of hardwood veneer are
up 47% over last year through September.
Hardwood flooring imports down
US imports of hardwood flooring fell 9% by value in
September, declining for the second straight month and
falling to a level 12% lower than last September. Imports
from Brazil fell 57% for the month and imports from
Malaysia fell by 28%.
Imports from China, which dropped sharply in August,
declined an additional 7% in September to their lowest
level in at least 10 years. Despite the drop, for the year so
far overall imports of hardwood flooring are up 10% over
Strong imports from Thailand, Indonesia and Canada led
to a 14% rise in imports of assembled flooring panels in
September. Imports from Thailand jumped 58% while
imports from Indonesia and Canada both rose more than
20%. Through the first three quarters of the year, total
imports of assembled flooring panels are ahead of 2021 by
Moulding imports rally
After two months of declines US imports of hardwood
mouldings rallied to levels matching that of this summer.
A 22% rise in the value of moulding imports in September
over August lifted imports 23% higher than the previous
September. Imports from Brazil, which doubled from
August to September accounted for much of the gain.
Imports from Brazil are up 79% over last year through the
third quarter, while overall imports of hardwood moulding
are up 28% over 2021.
US wooden furniture imports continue to slide
US imports of wooden furniture fell for a fourth straight
month in September. At US$1.96 billion, September
imports were down 5% from the previous month but were
nearly 6% higher than September 2021.
Imports from China and Mexico both fell by more than
10% while imports from top-supplier Vietnam fell 2%.
Imports from India rose 22% after a weak August and
imports from Indonesia ticked upward for a second
straight month. Total imports of wooden furniture are up
6% year to year over 2021 through the first three quarters
Cabinet sales drop but continue to outpace last year
Cabinet sales dropped in September according to
participating members in the Kitchen Cabinet
Manufacturers Association's monthly Trend of Business
Overall cabinet sales fell 4.8% in September compared to
August 2022. Custom sales were down 11.3%, semicustom
sales dropped 5.6%, and stock sales decreased
3.0%. Compared to August, the estimated cabinet quantity
was down 5.3%.
However, 2022 sales remain strong compared to last year.
Cabinet sales rose 23.8% in September 2022 compared to
September 2021 figures, continuing the trend of year-overyear
sales growth for the industry. Custom sales were up
8.4%, semi-custom rose 32.5% and stock sales increased
21.9%. The estimated cabinet quantity decreased 1.9%
compared to last year at this time.
The Trend of Business Survey shows overall cabinet sales
for the first nine months were up 17.6% when compared to
the same time period in 2021. Custom sales were up
16.0%, semi-custom sales increased 15.9% and stock sales
increased by 19.2%. The estimated cabinet quantity
decreased 0.6% according to the survey.
New residential furniture orders fell in August
New residential furniture orders dropped significantly in
August, down 34% compared to 2021 figures and marking
the eighth straight month of year-over-year double-digit
declines, according to the latest survey by Smith Leonard.
Orders were down for 84% of the survey participants.
Year-to-date new orders were down 29% from last year;
for comparison, 2021 year to date was up 29% over 2020.
"Remember that 2020 year to date included two months
where the industry was basically shut down. So as has
been the case, the numbers are difficult to compare," noted
Ken Smith, managing partner at Smith Leonard.
Approximately 91% of the survey participants reported
new orders were down for the year to date.
Shipments were up 9% over August 2021, with year to
date figures up 6% compared to the same period in 2021.
Year-to-date shipments were up for 70% of the
participants. Backlogs in August 11% compared to July,
and were down 35% from last year, the report stated.
"Hopefully, many participants are focusing on backlogs as
getting a good handle on them is really important as we go
through this recession or slow down and depend on
backlogs to keep business going from a shipping
perspective," Smith said.