SEATTLE — According to Wood Resource Quarterly, global trade of softwood logs increased by almost 20% in the first quarter 2010, after having fallen 30% over the past two years. An estimated 67 million m3 of softwood logs were traded in 2009, which can be compared to more than 95 million m3 in the record-year of 2007.

The biggest rise in softwood log imports occurred in Western Europe and Asia where China, South Korea, Germany and Belgium gained the most this year.

Russia is still the major supplier of softwood logs to the world, but its share of total trade has fallen to less than 28% in the first quarter of 2010. The decline can be attributed to the 25% log export tax, which the Russian government implemented in 2008. Log exporters in New Zealand, the second largest log-exporting country in the world, has benefited from the high costs of Russian logs; New Zealand exports increased by 43% during the first four months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. New Zealand Radiata pine logs currently account for approximately 13% of globally traded logs. Other major log-exporting countries in 2010 include the United States, the Czech Republic, France and Canada.

Wood Resource Quarterly is a publication of Wood Resources International LLC.

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