Conservation news

China’s log imports fall sharply

  • China’s log imports fell sharply in 2015, according to official customs data.
  • As reported by the International Tropical Timber Organization’s ITTO TTM Report: 20:4, China’s log imports in 2015 amounted to 44.55 million cubic meters valued at $8 billion, down 13 percent in volume and 32 percent in value relative to a year earlier.
  • The fall in imports is linked to China’s slowing economy, which has led to global declines for most commodities.

China’s log imports fell sharply in 2015, according to official customs data.

As reported by the International Tropical Timber Organization’s ITTO TTM Report: 20:4, China’s log imports in 2015 amounted to
44.55 million cubic meters valued at $8 billion, down 13 percent in volume and 32 percent in value relative to a year earlier.

Softwood log imports mostly from temperate regions accounting for two-thirds of the decline in volume. Hardwood log imports fell 6 percent to 14.49 million cubic meters, according to the data.

Tropical log imports declined by 10 percent in volume and 32 percent in value. Ten countries accounted for 96 percent of China’s tropical log imports, led by Papua New Guinea at 36 percent and the Solomon Islands at 25 percent.

While the numbers reflect only official data, the report suggests that the trend may be mirrored in illegal log imports.

“While not reflected in the official data, estimates put the 2014 volume of logs arriving from Myanmar, despite the log export ban in Myanmar, at between 800-900,000 cubic meters,” the report states. “In 2015 analysts estimate that this had fallen to just over 350,000 cubic meters.”

The fall in imports is linked to China’s slowing economy, which has led to global declines for most commodities, ranging from oil to minerals to palm oil.

China is the world’s largest market for logs.