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US and Canada Timber and Wood Product Price and Market Report
01 – 15th Nov

Report from North America

 Hardwood demand remains firm
North American new orders for tropical hardwoods have
experienced a modest slowdown, but the demand for other
hardwoods remains robust especially in high-end projects
and exterior applications, according to Fastsmarkets’
Hardwood Market Report.

The cross-commodity price reporting agency says that
sales for many importers have remained steady in October
compared to September, while other sellers have seen a
modest decline. Most, the report said, “are still
experiencing decent outbound shipments due to solid order
bookings in late summer.”

The October 31 report said that tropical hardwoods are
prevalent in high-end projects because they are relatively
expensive. “At present, importers are experiencing good
demand from producers of high-end residential moulding
and also from commercial millwork manufacturers,” the
report said. “Sales to large and mid-sized residential
flooring and stair plants are slow, but business is holding
up well with custom flooring and stair makers.”

The report also found that in residential markets, demand
for tropical hardwoods for use in exterior applications
remains noticeably stronger than for interior applications.
Sales to outdoor furniture producers remained steady, but
sales of domestic hardwoods to case goods and
upholstered furniture manufacturers are weak.

The overall supply of tropical hardwood sawnwood at US
and Canadian import yards is comparable to overall
demand. However, that is not the case across all species,
thicknesses, and product specifications. For example, 4/4
Sapelli is readily available, but many of the thicker sizes
are scarce. Likewise, some contacts indicate flatsawn
African Mahogany is difficult to source, while
quartersawn material is not.

US imports of tropical hardwoods and related products—
which were showing recovery in recent months after a
slow start to the year—slowed markedly in September.
Imports of hardwood plywood tumbled 34% to a level
only about half of what it was two months ago.

US imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell by 7%; imports
of hardwood flooring fell 6%; imports of assembled
flooring panels fell 12%; and imports of wooden furniture
fell to their lowest level since March, dropping 8% in

Imports of tropical hardwood veneer plunged 68%, but
that figure is not as bad as it appears since August is the
peak month for these veneer imports and a sharp drop
regularly occurs in September. On the upside, US imports
of hardwood mouldings gained 19% in September,
surpassing US$12 million for the first time since May.
Yet, despite the gain, the September total was 26% less
than that of September 2022.

US hardwood plywood imports tumble
US imports of hardwood plywood fell for a second straight
month in September, tumbling 34% to a level about half of
what it was two months ago. The 181,900 cubic meters of
plywood imported in September was 27% lower than that
of September 2022 imports.

A 36% decline in imports from China contributed to the
loss. Imports from most major trading partners are now
down more than 50% for the year so far versus last year
with imports from Malaysia off by 77%. Total year-to-
year imports are down 38% through the third quarter of

Imports of sawn tropical hardwood slump
US imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell by 7% in
September. The 17,924 cubic meters imported in
September was 13% below the volume imported in
September 2022. Imports from Brazil, the top US trading
partner for these products, continued to slip, dropping 26%
in September.

Imports from Brazil are down 33% so far this year versus
2022. Imports from the other chief trader, Indonesia, rose
26% in September but are still behind last year by 61% for
the year so far.

Imports of Sapelli rose 62% to their highest level of the
year yet were still 25% below last September’s level.
Sapelli imports are 22% behind 2022 for the year to this
point. Imports of keruing, which have been strong so far
this year, declined 53% in September to their lowest level
of the year. Despite the drop, imports of keruing are up
15% over last year through September. Total imports
remain down 31% versus last year.

Canadian imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell 1% in
September as sharp gains in imports from Brazil and
Congo/Brazzaville offset losses in imports from Bolivia
and Congo/Zaire. For the year so far, Canadian imports of
nearly every category type of sawn tropical hardwood are
trailing last year’s volume with total imports behind by
16% through August.

US veneer imports retreat from August peak
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer are generally
weak in September, and this year was no exception.
September imports fell 68%, returning to earth after the
August peak. Despite the retreat, imports for the month
outpaced those of last September by 50%.

Imports from Ghana and Cameroon were both down by
more than 90% for the month but are up for the year so far
by 26%, and more than 400%, respectively. Imports from
China more than doubled in September and are up 48%
versus last year for the year so far. Imports from Italy,
traditionally the top trading nation, continue to be erratic
and were zero for the second straight month. Overall
imports are roughly even with last year, up 1% through

US imports of hardwood flooring dips
US imports of hardwood flooring fell 6% in September as
a 92% gain in imports from China nearly made up for
declining imports from Brazil (down 47%) and Malaysia
(down 23%).

Imports from Indonesia, which have been strong all year,
rose 6% in September and are up 168% for the year so far.
As Indonesia has gained market share, imports from
Brazil, China, and Malaysia are all significantly behind
last year’s pace through the third quarter.

Imports of assembled flooring panels fell 12% in
September. Imports from Vietnam were off by 36% and
imports from China fell 27%. Imports from Thailand,
which have been especially weak this year, rose 83% in
September to reach a high for the year.

Despite the gain, imports from Thailand are down 78%
versus last year through the third quarter. Total imports of
assembled flooring panels are down 35% versus 2022 so
far this year.

Moulding imports make gains
US imports of hardwood mouldings gained 19% in
September, surpassing US$12 million for the first time
since May. Despite the gain, the September total was 26%
less than that of September 2022.

Imports from China rose 52% in September, while imports
from Canada climbed 25%. Year-to-date imports from
most trading partners remain well behind last year’s pace
as total imports for the year are 31% behind last year
through the end of the third quarter.

US wooden furniture imports at lowest since Marrch
US imports of wooden furniture fell to their lowest level
since March, dropping 8% in September from the previous
month. The US$1.56 billion in imports was 20% less than
the previous September’s total. Imports from most trade
partners fell from between 3% and 9%, while imports
from Canada rose 8% and imports from India rose 6%.
Imports from Canada remain roughly even with last year’s
levels while imports from most other countries remain
behind last year’s pace from 25% to 40%.

Total wooden furniture imports are down 26% versus
2022 through the first three quarters of the year.


LM       Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel  Cu.m         Cubic Metre
QS        Qualite Superieure    Koku         0.278 Cu.m or 120BF
CI          Choix Industriel                                                       FFR           French Franc
CE         Choix Economique                                                        SQ              Sawmill Quality
CS         Choix Supplimentaire      SSQ            Select Sawmill Quality
FOB      Free-on-Board     FAS            Sawnwood Grade First and
KD        Kiln Dry                               Second 
AD        Air Dry        WBP           Water and Boil Proof
Boule    A Log Sawn Through and Through MR              Moisture Resistant
              the boards from one log are bundled                      pc         per piece      
              together                      ea                each      
BB/CC  Grade B faced and Grade C backed MBF           1000 Board Feet          
              Plywood   MDF           Medium Density Fibreboard
BF        Board Foot F.CFA         CFA Franc        
Sq.Ft     Square Foot              Price has moved up or down
Source:ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report