WASHINGTON D.C. – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. imported a total of 8.456m m³ of softwood lumber from Canada in the first quarter of this year, which equates to a reduction of 16 percent over last year.

While January’s import volume was slightly higher year-over-year at 1.6 percent, February and March saw reductions of 30 percent and 15 percent respectively. The value of Canadian softwood lumber rose by 15 percent to $1.418 billion, and the value per unit rose to 36 percent to $167.7/m³.

The Department of Agriculture also saw a reduction in U.S. softwood lumber exports for the first quarter. A total of 782,448m³, the exports were 4 percent below the figure for a year earlier. A sharp drop in Asian exports is mostly to blame, with a 15 percent drop to China and a 23 percent drop to Japan.

South American exports rose by 10 percent over the same period, while Canadian exports rose by 6 percent.