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China's timber market report in October 2022 --
 Average price of imported timber fell, and domestic timber import volume tightened again

[Nov 23, 2022]

According to the data of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, by October 2022, China's timber and wood products import trade volume has totaled 100.595 billion yuan, down 11.7% year on year; The import volume of wood and wood products reached 47.79 million tons, down 25.2% year on year; The total import volume of logs in China is 36.25 million m 3, A year-on-year decrease of 32.1%; The amount reached 47.963 billion yuan, down 22.7% year on year; The total amount of imported sawn timber is 21.81 million m3, A year-on-year decrease of 8.3%; The amount reached 41.766 billion yuan, up 0.2% year on year.

In October 2022, China will import 3.15 million m3 of logs , 36.9% YoY; The amount reached RMB 3.972 billion, down 36.9% year on year; The import volume of sawn timber is 2.16 million m3, The year-on-year decrease was 3.4%, amounting to 3.875 billion yuan, down 6.9%.

According to the chart of log and sawn timber imports from 2021-2022, the log imports continued to decline in October 2022, down 3.96% month on month; The average price of logs is 1261 yuan/m3, down 5.10% month on month. The demand of the construction industry decreased gradually this month. Judging from the log import trend in 2021, the log import volume fell in October last year, but the import increment rebounded slightly in the next month. Since the middle of this year, the log import volume has continued to decline, which also means that the terminal market has been relatively depressed in the second half of the year and the effect of boosting is not good, and the profits of domestic log trade have shrunk due to the decline of external price and exchange rate.

At the same time, the daily average shipment of logs at the port has decreased, the self reserves of raw materials of merchants have continued to shrink, the advantages of spot prices of logs are not strong, the demand for new materials undertaken by merchants has continued to decline, the domestic inventory of medium and high priced materials is low, and the arrival of Pinus radiata has continued to drive down the quoted price of logs. The distribution differentiation of domestic log inventory has intensified, and there is a shortage of common materials in some regions. In the end, the "guaranteed delivery" policy of real estate construction has boosted the real estate market, but its sustainability is not strong. The real estate capital availability rate has dropped by more than 20% compared with the same period last year. The real estate is under pressure, and it is difficult to improve the demand of the timber market.

According to the analysis of changes in sawn timber, the import volume of sawn timber decreased by 7.69% month on month, and the average price of sawn timber was 1794 yuan/m3, a decrease of 3.44% over the previous month. From the international market, due to inflation and uncertainty related to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, the global demand for wood has declined, energy prices are high, and cost inflation has prompted foreign sawmills to gradually reduce their logging volume. From the perspective of the domestic market, the price of sawn timber continues to decline. The current market is oversupply and overcapacity. It is expected that the import of sawn timber will also decline further at the end of the year.

According to the analysis of the 3m national average price chart of white pine from 2021-2022, the price of timber fell in early November of last year in several rounds, and stopped falling back in the middle of this month, and the price became stable. However, the price of white pine in this year was stable. This month, the price fluctuated and fell back, and the price trend line was "parabolic" and there was still room for price reduction. To sum up, due to the early Spring Festival next year, the processing enterprises will stop sawing and have a holiday or about half a month earlier than previous years. It is expected that the peak period of production enterprises' downtime will occur in the middle of December. The tightening of supply side capacity will further centralize terminal demand. The offer price of the supply side is tentatively raised, but the actual market transaction situation is weak. At present, the terminal demand support of the timber industry is limited. The repeated epidemic and gradual drop in temperature will slow down or suspend the construction progress. It is expected that the price of construction timber will continue to fall in the later period, and the import of logs will decline.