U.S. hardwood lumber exports totaled 134 million board feet in July, down 4% from the prior month, but 18% above the July record set one year earlier. Year-to-date exports through July were up to 8 of the Top 10 and to 16 of the Top 20 destinations, including large gains to China (+26%), Mexico (+23%), the United Kingdom (+37%) and Japan (+37%). Exports of every major U.S. hardwood species except Hard Maple were pacing ahead of 2013 levels through July, with Red Oak and Poplar volumes increasing the most. U.S. hardwood log exports were also well ahead of year-ago levels, with shipments up 51% to China and more than 20% to Canada, Vietnam and Japan.
September brought a noticeable upturn in Chinese inquiries and orders, including more Red Oak purchasing. Vietnamese, Japanese and Taiwanese markets were also busy, according to most reports. European buyers remained rather cautious, which tempered the usual September rebound following August holidays. Mexican demand was fairly good in September, but most other Latin American markets were quiet. Overall exports to the Middle East and North Africa were steady despite continued conflicts and political unrest in the region.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.