Ottawa, Canada: US imports of softwood from Germany have grown tenfold in the first half of the year as punishing duties pushed imports of Canadian softwood down, according to the Globe and Mail. 

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Seattle, US: Sawlog prices in Brazil have gone up over the past 12 months after five years in decline and the expectations are that the recent upward trend will continue for the remainder of the year, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

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Ahmedabad, India: According to The Times of India City, after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) earlier this month, the demand for timber has taken a major hit and estimates by industry players indicate their orders are down by almost half. 

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysia’s timber and timber product exports rose 6.76 per cent to RM9.75 billion in the first five months of this year compared with the same period a year ago, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said, as reported by BorneoPost.

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Gernsbach, Germany: Over the course of the first quarter, a total of 1.727 million tonnes wood pellets were produced by pellet plants in the US. This represents a 5.4 percent increase vis à vis the comparative period of the preceding year, reports EUWID. 

 

According to figures of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the US Department of Energy, production of wood pellets for the heating market and of industrial pellets developed along contradictory lines. Whereas production of industrial wood pellets increased by 11.5 percent to 1.364 million tonnes in the first three months, production of high quality wood pellets for the heating market decreased by 12.6 percent to 362,590 tonnes.

 

There are also more considerable changes concerning the mix of raw materials used for the first quarter vis à vis the comparative quarter of the preceding year. 

 

Accordingly, producers increased use of roundwood by 29.4 percent to 599,300 tonnes, whereas in contrast the use of sawmilling residue ranges from the sawmill industry decreased by 21 percent to 489,400 tonnes.

 

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Gernsbach, Germany:The US imported a total of 8.456 million cubic metres of softwood lumber from Canada in the first quarter of this year which, according to the figures from the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), equates to a reduction of 16 percent against last year, reported by EUWID.  

 

After imports in January had still been slightly higher than a year earlier at +1.6 percent, the FAS recorded reductions of 30 percent and almost 15 percent respectively for February and March. 

 

Owing to the comparatively high softwood lumber prices on the US market in the first quarter, the value of the Canadian deliveries increased 15 percent to US$1.418 billion; the value per unit rose by a good 36 percent to US$167.7/cubic metre.

 

The FAS also recorded a reduction in US softwood lumber exports for the first quarter. At a total of 782,448 cubic metres, the exports were four percent below the figure for a year earlier. 

 

The main reason for this minus was the 18 percent reduction in exports to Asia to 194,315 cubic metres whereby deliveries to China and Japan both fell sharply by 15 percent and 23 percent respectively to 122,840 cubic metres and 50.961 cubic metres. 

 

Exports to Taiwan also fell 24 percent short of last year’s level. Whilst Asia export decreased, deliveries to customers in South America were raised by 10 percent to 305,657 cubic metres. Roughly six percent more softwood lumber was exported to Canada as well at 180,121 cubic metres (170,613 cubic metres).

 

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Tauranga, New Zealand: Pacific Forest Products (PFP) reports that China daily offtake is still around 50,000-55,000 cubic metres per day and that the market remains well-balanced with total log inventory now at 3.2-3.5 million cubic metres and stable.  

 

This inventory has increased from three million cubic metres over the last few weeks due to many workers in northern China returning to harvest family crops in the countryside. 

 

There is also the rainy season in Southern China slowing down plywood production. Exporters do not expect much market movement in the short term. 

 

One comment was “I’m certainly not lying awake at night thinking about the China market”. Everyone in the industry hopes this stability continues for a long time yet.

 

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Kuching, Malaysia: Malaysian plywood manufacturers have proposed higher export cost and freight (C&F) prices for their products shipment to Japan, The Star Online reported. 

 

The proposed price increases for June and July shipment vary among the manufacturers but are generally in the region of US$25 per cubic metre.

 

One reason cited for the Malaysian manufacturers to mark up the C&F prices was due to the higher costs of logs—the raw material for producing panel products—following the impending imposition of higher timber premium.

 

The Sarawak state government will raise the premium for hill timber to RM50 per cubic metre from 80 cent per cubic metre—which is a staggering 6,250 percent increase—from July 1, 2017.

 

The increased premium is for all species of logs harvested from the hill forests and logs of hill species from agri-conversion areas, which is RM3 per cubic metre prior to the revision.

 

The increased timber premium could generate up to RM300mil a year, and the money will be channelled to the Sarawak Foundation Fund.

 

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Yokohama, Japan: South Sea log import in 2016 was 193,192 cubic metres, 20.6 percent less than 2015.By source, 101,284 cubic metres from Sabah,according to ITTO.

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Yokohama, Japan: According to ITTO analysis, in 2016, EU imports of tropical sawn hardwood were 1.04 million cubic metres, unchanged from the previous year. The value of EU imports increased by two percent to €775 million.

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