Chinese companies seeking US alternatives

Wednesday 12 Jun 2019

At present, Chinese companies have been able to absorb increased tariff levels on imported US timber raw materials but if these are raised further then their businesses will be at risk.

To avoid this Chinese companies have started to look for alternative raw material sources and substitutes for US logs and sawnwood.

According to China Customs data imports from the US were mainly softwood logs such as douglas fir, spruce and fir but close examination shows there is no real price advantage over other sources. This is leading importers to look at douglas fir from Canada and more softwoods from New Zealand as well as spruce and fir from Russia.

China’s imports of douglas fir from the US, Canada and New Zealand were 98,000, 480, 000 and 380,000 cubic metres in 2017 respectively. The average price for douglas fir from the US was the highest at US$186 per cubic metre, from Canada US$172 per cubic metre and from New Zealand US$138 per cubic metre.

Source: ITTO TTM Report

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