China's log imports fall 19% in first half of 2008 due to high prices
August 27, 2008
PNG remains the largest official source for tropical logs; E.U. log imports also dip.
Overall 16.36 million cubic meters of logs valued at about $2.8 billion were imported to the country during the first half of the year. Higher prices meant that despite the drop in volume, the value of imports rose by 4.7 percent.
Tropical log imports accounted for 4.165 million cubic meters or 64 percent of China's total hardwood imports. The figure is down 6.5 percent from last year.
Papua New Guinea accounted for roughly one-third of official tropical log imports, followed by the Solomon Islands (14 percent), Malaysia (12.8 percent), Gabon (12.7 percent), Myanmar (7.4 percent), Equatorial Guinea (5.5 percent), and Republic of Congo (2.9 percent).
Russia remained the largest source of logs for China, supplying 10.597 million cubic meters of logs, which accounted for 64.8% of the total imports. The figure was down 24.3 percent from the same period last year due to a more than doubling in price.
E.U. Log Imports
A slowing European economy, coupled with higher timber prices, led to small declines in E. U. imports of tropical hardwood between January and March 2008.
The Netherlands was the largest importer of sawn hardwood from tropical countries, consuming 143,270 cubic meters. France (92,636 cubic meters), Italy (83,374 cubic meters), Spain (76,553 cubic meters), and Belgium (45,028 cubic meters) followed. Brazil was the largest source of hardwood imports to the EU-25, supplying 163,377 cubic meters), followed by Cameroon (124,527 cubic meters), Malaysia (87,618 cubic meters), Ivory Coast (57,437 cubic meters), and Gabon (30,030 cubic meters). Overall, sawn hardwood imports from tropical countries to the E. U. fell 11 percent to 562,537 cubic meters for the period.
France was the largest consumer of hardwood logs from tropical countries, importing 111,024 metric tons, the bulk of which come from Gabon (64 percent), DR Congo (20 percent), and Republic of Congo (8 percent). Italy (24,315 cubic meters) and Portugal (23,100 cubic meters) followed. Overall, hardwood log imports from tropical countries to the E. U. fell 2 percent to 209,784 cubic meters for the period
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