Data released by the U.S. agencies show that American hardwood lumber global exports were up 10% in value and 11% in volume in 2016, with China the number one market accounting for over half of all shipments. In Southeast Asia markets were steady with Vietnam importing 72% of all shipments to ASEAN countries by value.
Worldwide exports of hardwood lumber from the USA amounted to 3,916,336 M3 valued at almost $2.3 billion. Canada was the second largest market, making Vietnam the second largest outside North America. Exports to Vietnam amounted to $157,324,361 – an increase of 2% on the previous year on a volume up 8%. Leading species was tulipwood (yellow poplar) which was up 41% in volume and 29% in value. White and red oak, together with American black walnut, were the top four species, with a marked upward tendency in red oak. Other notable species were cherry, red alder, ash and maple. There was growth in shipments of hickory from a very small base, reflecting the increase in flooring production in Vietnam. Most specieshowever, except red oak, are not back to their peak year 2014, as shown in Table 1.
Other markets in Southeast Asia were slightly down by 2-3% only, with Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore importing a further $60 million bringing the total for the ASEAN region to $217.7 million. Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia were the 10th 11th and 12th global markets - all with white oak as their number one species accounting for 54%, 35% and 48% of U.S. hardwood lumber shipments respectively.
American hardwood logs shipments globally were down 5% in value at $717.9 million but up 4% in volume at 2,069,422 M3. All ASEAN markets reduced their imports of U.S. logs, except Thailand, although volumes are already significantly lower than hardwood sawn lumber from the USA as shown in table 3.