SEATTLE -- Global trade of logs increased by almost 20% during the first quarter of 2010 as compared to the same quarter in 2009, according to a report by Wood Resources.

An estimated 67 million cubic meters (m3) of softwood logs were traded in the world 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 imports to China, South Korea, Germany and Belgium have gained the most this year.

The report further stated that after two years of declining trade, 2010 may be the turning point when global log trade will start growing again. 

Russia is still the major supplier of softwood logs to the world, but its share of total trade has fallen from almost 40% in 2006 to less than 28% in the first quarter of 2010. This decline can be contributed 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 as compared to the same period in 2009.  New Zealand radiata pine logs currently accountfor approximately 13% of globally traded logs.

Other major log-exporting countries in 2010 include the United States, the Czech Republic, France and Canada. China is by far the worlds biggest importer of softwood logs, accounting for about a third of globally traded logs in 2010.

Read Wood Resources' press release.

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