SEATTLE, WA – China increased its importation of wood chips in 2011, mainly from countries in Southeast Asia, in an effort to meet its growing need for wood fiber.

In the 3Q of 2011, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia were the major suppliers to China, accounting for approximately 88 percent of all imports of hardwood chips, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly.

The wood chip imports in the first 10 months of 2011 already equal more than the total volume of imports in all of 2010. This year’s imports will reach around seven million tons, or 37 percent higher than in 2010. This upward trend is expected to continue in 2012 and 2013 because the Chinese pulp industry is in an expansion mode.

The average value for imported wood chips also has steadily increased, reaching $180/ton in the 3Q/11, or about 22 percent higher than the same quarter last year, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly. Vietnam is the lowest-cost supplier, while the cost for Eucalyptus chips from Australia were at the high-end in the 3Q.

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