Virus reduces imported forest products to China
April 8, 2020 | 11:35 am CDT

The value of imported forest products to China dropped by $750 million year-over-year during January and February 2020, with the biggest declines in the values of wood pulp and softwood lumber, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

The coronavirus epidemic in China has resulted in sharply reduced importation of forest products in early 2020. During January and February, the import value of logs, lumber, pulp and wood chips totaled $4.6 billion dollars.

This was down 26 percent and 14 percent respectively, from the same periods in 2018 and 2019, reported the Wood Resource Quarterly. From 2019 to 2020, the biggest percentage declines were seen in softwood lumber and softwood logs. The import value for wood pulp fell the most, just over 300 million dollars year-over-year, followed by softwood lumber, which was down 190 million dollars. 

Importation of softwood lumber to China by volume was estimated at 1.2 million square meters in February 2020, the lowest monthly volume in four years. The two largest lumber suppliers, Russia and Canada, continued to be the major sources for lumber.

During January and February 2020, China imported 5.1 million square meters of softwood logs, down from almost 5.7 million square meters in the same period in 2019 (the total import value fell from $800 million dollars to $640 million dollars). Record high log inventories (over 7 million square meters) at Chinese ports, reduced demand for forest products as a consequence of the coronavirus, and labor shortages at ports and wood processing facilities have resulted in sharp declines in log imports in 2020. See

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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].