Imports of tropical hardwood products continue
While not yet back to last year’s levels, US imports of
tropical hardwood and related products climbed in July as
hardwood plywood imports swelled 38%, rising for a fifth
Imports of tropical hardwood veneer and hardwood
mouldings both bounced back from weak June numbers
with veneer rising 96% and mouldings gaining 44%.
Imports of sawn tropical hardwood gained 5% and imports
of assembled flooring panels rose 7% while imports of
wooden furniture and hardwood flooring held flat in July,
falling less than 1%.
Hardwood plywood imports surge 38%
The volume of US imports of hardwood plywood rose for
a fifth consecutive month in July, surging 38% over the
previous month. The 354,292 cubic metres of plywood
imported last month was 31% higher than July 2022
imports, making it the first time this year imports for a
month surpassed that of the previous year.
Imports climbed from most trading partners with imports
from Indonesia rising 50%, imports from Vietnam gaining
30%, and imports from China up 27%.
Despite the upward momentum of late, imports from most
countries remain down sharply year on year and total
import volumes are down 42% through July.
Imports of sawn tropical hardwood rise
US imports of sawn tropical hardwood continued their
recovery in July, rising 5% from the previous month.
The 18,773 cubic metres imported in July, while down
21% from July 2022, is the highest-volume month so far
Imports from Brazil and Ecuador both rose by more than
60% while imports from Indonesia gained more than 50%.
Imports of Balsa and Ipe both rose by more than 40%
while imports of Teak more than doubled and imports of
Jatoba surged to their highest volume of the year.
Imports are still trying to recover from a slow start to the
year and are down 36% versus last year through July.
Canadian imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell 19% in
July from the previous month. Despite the decline, imports
still managed to outpace last July by 18.5%.
Imports from Ghana were up 85% while imports from
Bolivia, Indonesia, and Ecuador all fell to zero for the
month. Total imports through July are down 14% versus
US veneer imports rebound
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer nearly doubled in
July, rebounding from a disappointing June to reach their
highest level of the year so far. Rising more that 96% on
surging imports from Cameroon (up 147%) and India (up
more than 1,000%), July’s total was still 13% below that
of July 2022.
Italy has been the biggest supplier to the US by far in
recent years, but imports from Italy have fallen sharply
this year. The 61% decline in imports from Italy in 2023
has been met with increases of 335% in imports from
Cameroon, 128% in imports from Cote d’Ivoire, and 73%
in imports from China so far this year.
Total imports of tropical hardwood veneer are relatively
flat this year, up 2% over 2023 through July.
Imports of assembled flooring panels up for fourth
Imports of assembled flooring panels rose for a fourth
consecutive month, gaining 7% in July. Imports surged
from Indonesia and Thailand to more than make up for a
20% drop in imports from top supplier Canada and a 38%
fall in imports from China.
Despite the upward swing, July imports still trailed those
of the previous July by 14%. Total year-to-date imports of
assembled flooring panels are down 36% versus last year
US imports of hardwood flooring were flat in July, falling
less than 1%. Imports in July were 9% lower than those of
July 2022. Imports from Brazil finally strengthened in
July, rising 350% over a very weak June.
Despite the gain, imports from Brazil remain down 59%
versus 2022 year-to-date. Imports from China also showed
a sizable rebound from a poor June. Imports from
Malaysia fell 42% in July while imports from Indonesia,
which have been strong all year, slipped 10%.
Total imports of hardwood flooring are ahead of last year
by 4% through July.
Moulding imports bounce back
US imports of hardwood mouldings continued their
upward and downward swings of the past few months, this
time heading up 44% in July to recover from a slow June.
July imports were 15.5% lower than the previous July
despite the gain.
Imports from Malaysia advanced 39% in July while
imports from Canada rose 27% and imports from China
rose 26%. Total imports through the first half of the year
are down 32% versus last year.
US wooden furniture imports remain flat
US imports of wooden furniture fell in June as imports
from most countries continued to remain flat. Imports
from Indonesia were the exception again, rising 33% in
July after falling 30% in June.
At US$1.67 Billion, wooden furniture imports for July
were 20.5% less than that of July 2022. For the year,
imports are down 28% versus last year through July.
Domestic cabinet sales fall
Cabinet manufacturers reported a decrease in sales of
14.5% in July compared with the previous month.
According to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer's
Association's (KCMA) monthly Trend of Business
Survey, participants reported a decrease of 14% in
customs sales, a 13.2% decrease in semi-custom sales and
a 19.6% decrease in stock sales.
The survey reported that compared with July 2022, total
monthly sales were down 5.1%, custom sales were up 1%,
semi-custom sales were down 1.4%, and stock sales were
Canada/US Border battle over lumber heads to court of
Canada is broadening its pushback against the latest US
decision to keep imposing duties on Canadian softwood
lumber. Trade Minister Mary Ng says Canada is launching
challenges under the North American free-trade deal as
well as before the US Court of International Trade.
Ottawa has sought a judicial review of July’s Commerce
Department assessment of the levies, which provided
modest relief but maintained the combined duty rate at
7.99%.Ng says Canada remains open to negotiating a
resolution to the decades-old dispute, which she calls
“unfair, unjust and illegal,” while arguing it increases
She is again urging US Trade Representative Katherine
Tai to sit down and negotiate a resolution to the decades-
old dispute.Such a deal would be challenging since the US
takes issue with a long-standing regulatory system in
Canada that it says puts American producers at a
“The United States is open to resolving our differences
with Canada over softwood lumber to ensure a level
playing field for US industry,” US Ambassador to Canada
David Cohen said “US trade officials have communicated
to Canada our commitment to reaching an agreement if
Canada addresses underlying policy issues related to
subsidization and fair competition.”
Ng’s decision will have Canada bring the latest US anti-
dumping duty determination before the US Court of
In a statement, the US Lumber Coalition said it views
bringing the dispute to the Court as a "welcome change" in
Canada's approach to the trade case, since it traditionally
insists on requesting a United States-Mexico-Canada
Agreement (USMCA) panel for their appeals.