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Russian sawn timber exports decreased by 21% in the first quarter, but exports to China increased

[May 10, 2023]

According to the latest report by RosleInforg, in the first quarter of 2023, Russian timber exports decreased by 20.9% year-on-year. By comparison, the delivery volume during the reporting period was 4.5 million cubic meters, a decrease from 5.7 million cubic meters in the same period last year. Affected by the EU's ban on importing Russian timber and a significant reduction in the export of related processing machinery parts to Russia, as well as the high import tax on timber in North America, it has had a negative impact on the export volume of Russian pine, spruce, and other softwood logs and sawn timber.

Pavel Chashchin, Director of RoslesInforga, explained: Since the beginning of the year, we have seen an increase in exports to the eastern region, with the main supply of wood directed towards 15 countries, including Central Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East. These companies have successfully quickly adjusted their logistics direction and found new partners. China's partial relaxation of plant quarantine restrictions has once again enabled our forestry enterprises to resume trade with these major trading partners. In the first three months, China and Uzbekistan accounted for all of us More than 74% of timber exports. And last year's proportion was only 56%.

According to official Russian data, several Asian countries have seen significant growth in their imports of Russian timber.

Iran increased by 2.3% to 104300 M3;
Tajikistan increased by 1.5 times to 115000 M3;
UAE increased by 1.7 times to 63400 M3;
Türkiye increased by 3.2 times to 58100 M3;
Kyrgyzstan increased by 1.4 times to 70100 cubic M3.

And China's share in Russia's timber exports has increased from 48.6% in the same period last year to 63.6%. The shipment volume also increased by 3.5% to 2.878 billion cubic meters. Hong Kong's imports of timber from Russia also increased by 2.6% to 1.167 million tons.

In the first quarter of this year, the total price of imported Russian timber from China increased by 175.66% year-on-year. The total amount of logs was 388 million yuan, an increase of 98.8% compared to 195 million yuan in the same period last year; The total amount of sawn timber is 4.154 billion yuan, an increase of 186%.