China is reportedly moving shipping containers directly to logging sites in the United States, which could be detrimental as they will be removing logs from an already tight log market.
According to sources confirmed by Gene Wengert, the Wood Doctor, Chinese buyers are paying 50 percent more than the typical sawmill price for logs. They are paying the equivalent of $900 per 1000 bf, which means the wood will be very expensive when they saw it. The species they want are red oak, white oak, hickory and cherry. They have markets that will pay this high price.
Vietnam’s exports of wood and wood products hit $1.78 billion in the first quarter of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 17.1 percent.
This, overall, will increase lumber prices within our country due to the shortage of logs, Wengert said. Already, sawmills are running very low in log inventory; this will make it even tighter. Wengert’s speculation is that cabinet and furniture operations will have to buy standing timber, or work closely with sawmills that buy standing timber if they want to control their supply and costs.
It will also make U.S. exports more expensive and imports from China of non-U.S. woods more competitive.