According to EUWID, in the fourth quarter Spain imported a volume of 10,451m³ oak lumber; this represents a 21 percent decrease vis à vis the comparative quarter of 2018. The decline in imports recorded in the second (-25 percent) and third quarters (-7 percent) therefore continued. In the first quarter imports had increased by 11 percent. Over the entire period of 2019 imports thus declined by 12 percent to a total volume of 41,606m³. The import value decreased by almost 10 percent to €40.4m, and thus at a less significant rate.

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China's first Furniture Intelligent Manufacturing Innovation Center has been set up in Longhui Town, Nankang and it aims to become a national base for intelligent manufacturing, according to dayoo.com.

The facility applies 5G, blockchain, robotics and augmented reality to production processes for rubberwood furniture. The application of robotic production and intelligent manufacturing furniture has lowered production costs for some items by as much as 60 percent.

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Rhode Island lumber business Coventry Lumber says it is seeing extreme demand for its pressure-treated wood. Demand began rising early April, the same time the pandemic really took hold.

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The pandemic has changed the practice of buying furniture, and the changes are likely to stick, reported by startribune.com.

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Exports of waste wood from the UK fell by 39 percent in 2019, a survey from the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) shows, as demand from the domestic panel board and biomass sector increased.

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According to constructioncanada, British Columbia Premier John Horgan has announced the province will focus on mass timber construction to bolster the forest industry.

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According to ttjonline, Indonesia has rowed back on plans to weaken rules for the timber exports, following warnings the proposed move would undermine efforts to combat illegal logging and deforestation.

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, the wood industry still enjoyed 3.2 billion USD in exports in the first four months of 2019, up 6 percent year on year, thanks to businesses’ efforts to switch to online trading and find new markets, reports from VNA.

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During January-March 2020 Russia’s export of sawn goods made 4.1 mn tons, down 7.5% year-on-year. According to the RF Federal Customs Service’s statistics, in terms of value, sawn goods export was down 6% making $966.4 mn, according to Sea News.

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According to biomassmagazine.com, the U.S. Forest Service on April 16 announced it is awarding a total of $7.62 million to 35 projects as part of the agency’s Wood Innovations Grant Program. Eight of those projects focus on renewable energy, while the remaining 27 focus on expanding markets for wood products.

The Wood Innovations Grant program advances innovations in wood products that create jobs, revitalize local economies and support sustainable forest land management. According to the Forest Service, the 35 businesses, nonprofits, universities and tribal partners selected for the current round of funding will match the grants with an additional $131 million.

“Markets for wood products are key to supporting sustainable management and restoration of our nation’s forested lands,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “We can keep both public and private forests healthy and resilient by fostering economic opportunities around wood products.”

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