US timber tariff: Who will benefit?

Wednesday 14 Nov 2018

China announced a 25% tariff on US imports, on a value of $16 billion from 23 August. The taxed products include $1.83 billion of wood products and logs.

A large range of wood products are listed in the tariff list, including oak logs, birch logs, OSB, spruce, larch, teak, wooden window frames, shelves, furniture etc.

China is the biggest importer for American wood products. The United States exported 6.14 million m3 logs to China, accounting for 53.9% of US logs, and 3.27 m3 lumber, accounting for 38% of US sawn timber exports, according to the U.S Bureau of Statistics. The China market represents half of total US log exports, and one third of its sawn timber exports.

The US tariffs will increase the cost of US wood imports, which will make America timber gradually lose its competitiveness and market position in China.

China Timber has forecast that Chinese buyers may turn to other countries such as Russia and Europe as the properties of timber from those countries are very similar to that of the US.

Source: ITTO MIS Report (October)

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