Background: China wood products trade

Wednesday 15 Aug 2018

Data from China Customs shows that in 2017 total value of China’s wood products trade (imports and exports) rose 10% to US$156.4 billion. The growth in wood products imports rose 21% to US$ 52.6 billion, significantly higher than the growth in exports (1.3%).

The US is the main importer of China’s wood products but anti-dumping and anti- subsidy policies in the have resulted in a sharp fall in exports to the US.

China’s wood products enterprises are facing considerable challenges in the US market. The value of foreign trade in wood products between China and the US in 2017 was US$29 billion, accounting for 19% of China’s total wood products trade.

However, tensions between the United States and China are increasing over trade issues after tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods were announced by the US.

The US recently released a list of tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods and wood products are affected including wood chips, wood charcoal, logs, other wooden products, sleepers, sawnwood, veneer, wooden flooring, particleboard, fibreboard, plywood, laminated wood, wooden doors, wooden windows, bamboo and rattan, wood pulp and waste paper, paper and board, pulp and paper products and wooden furniture and seats.

In 2017 the value of China’s exports of wood products now included in the list attracting tariff was US$16.365 billion. The value of China’s imports wood products included in the list attracting US tariffs was $8.27 billion. China imports mainly waste paper, sawnwood, wood pulp, logs and paper products.

The changes to US tariffs, if implemented in full, will create a major challenge for Chinese enterprises. The tariffs will not immediately go into effect but will be subject to a two- month review process beginning in August.

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