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US and Canada Timber and Wood Product Price and Market Report
01 – 15th Feb 2024

Report from North America

 Imports of tropical hardwood products weak in 2023
US imports of tropical hardwoods and related products
declined in 2023, particularly sawnwood and plywood.
The Department of Agriculture totals for 2023 show sawn
tropical hardwood imports were down 29% from the
previous year and hardwood plywood imports fell 25%.

Imports of wooden furniture fell by 22%, from more than
US$25 billion in 2022 to less than US$20 billion in 2023.
Also falling were imports of wood veneers, down 4% and
hardwood moulding, down 28%.

In contrast imports of wooden flooring rose 11% in 2023
but imports of assembled flooring panels fell by 28%.
December figures, however, were encouraging as most
categories showed imports on the rise.

Imports of sawn tropical hardwood rise in December
US imports of sawn tropical hardwood rose 10% in
December, bouncing back in volume from a two-year low
in November. Despite the rise, the 13,269 cubic metres
imported in December was 26% less than in December of
2022. Imports from top suppliers Brazil and Cameroon
both rebounded sharply.

For the year, imports of sawn tropical hardwood fell from
nearly 275,000 cu.m in 2022 to less than 194,000 cu.m in
2023, a decline of 29%. Imports of Sapelli and Ipe, which
were both over 41,000 cu.m in 2022, fell 22% and 47%,
respectively in 2023.

Imports of Acajou d’Afrique, Virola, Meranti, Jatoba,
Teak, Iroko, and Paduak were all down more than 40% in
2023. The top supplying country for tropical hardwoods
remained Brazil, despite imports from the country falling
36% for the year.

Canadian imports jumped 98% in December to reach their
highest level since 2014. The nearly US$2.7 million in
imports recorded in December was the highest since
imports topped US$3 million in August 2014. The strong
month provides some optimism for the New Year after a
2023 which saw imports decline by 12% versus 2022.

US hardwood plywood imports flatten
US imports of hardwood plywood rose less than 1% as
imports stabilized at a level well above last winter’s
volume. The 277,333 cu.m of plywood imported in
December was 81% higher than the volume of wood
imported in December 2022. Imports from Indonesia rose
57% to their highest level of the year.

In 2023, Indonesia supplanted Vietnam as the top supplier
of hardwood plywood to the US, despite a 37% drop in
volume. Imports from Vietnam fell 49% for the year.
Total imports were down by 25% in 2023 versus the
previous year with imports from Malaysia, China, and
Russia all falling more than 50%.

Veneer imports surge in December
US imports of tropical hardwood veneer rose 24% in
December. The surge placed December imports 2% ahead
of December 2022 levels. Gains in imports from Italy (up
79%) and Cameroon (up 14%) more than made up for
declines in imports from China and India.

For 2023, imports of tropical hardwood veneer fell by 4%
as imports from 2022 top-supplier Italy plunged by 75%.
The US switched to imports from Cameroon, which rose
310% in 2023. Imports from Ghana rose 54% in 2023 as
the US increasingly turned to Africa for veneer. Imports
from India, the #2 supplier in 2022, fell 25% last year.

Hardwood flooring imports rose in 2023
While most hardwood imports declined last year, US
imports of hardwood flooring rose in 2023. Imports ticked
upward 11% over 2022 despite a disappointing December
report. Robust imports from Indonesia fueled the gains as
a 93% rise for the year placed Indonesia as the leading
supplier for the US by a large margin.

Imports from the previous leader, Brazil, fell by 55% in
2023. For December, imports were down 11% from
November’s numbers and 8% below that of December
2022.Imports of assembled flooring panels, however,
showed a marked decline in 2023, falling 26% from 2022

The result was also fueled by imports from Indonesia,
which in this case fell by 41%, as well as by declining
imports from China (down 56%) and Thailand (down
51%). Yet, the December report pointed in a positive
direction. In December US imports of assembled flooring
panels rose 12% to a level 40% higher than December
2022 numbers.

Moulding imports down 28% in 2023
US imports of hardwood moulding fell 28% in 2023.
Imports from Canada, by far the top supplying nation, fell
by 11% for the year as imports fell more steeply from
China (down 62%), Brazil (down 49%), and Malaysia
(down 31%).

Imports for December rose 2% from November but were
still 10% below that of the previous December. Imports
from China more than doubled in December to reach their
highest level since May.

US wooden furniture imports down more than $5
billion in 2023

US imports of wooden furniture declined by more than
US$5 billion in 2023 as imports slowed by more than one
fifth. Imports fell 22% last year from more than US$25.3
billion in 2022 to US$19.8 billion in 2023. Imports from
the top suppliers, Vietnam and China, were down 21% and
28%, respectively.

Imports from most other countries saw similar declines,
although imports from Canada only saw a drop of less
than 1%.

December saw a gain of 1% over the previous month
which was also 1% above the total for December 2022.

Furniture market shows signs of normalising as
residential orders continue to rise
New orders for residential furniture rose 26% in
November compared to 2022 figures, marking seven
straight months of double-digit percentage growth in the
year-over-year comparison, according to the latest issue of
Furniture Insights. Roughly two-thirds of the participants
reported increased orders in November 2023 compared to
a year ago.

"While there is considerable 'noise' behind these numbers
(including the impact of general inflation and container
rate fluctuations to name just two), this does mark the 7th
straight month orders have grown double-digit percentages
over the prior year, so there does appear to be some
traction," said Mark Laferriere, assurance partner at Smith
Leonard, which produces the monthly report.

Year to date, new orders were up 4% over the same period
of 2022, although 2022-to-date orders were down 34%
over the same period of 2021, Laferriere noted. "As we’ve
stated previously, comparisons to prior years have been
difficult due to the unprecedented circumstances
impacting the industry since mid-2020, but that does seem
to be normalizing, even if still not at the levels we’d





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