China and Brazil increase share in EU softwood plywood imports

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EU imports of softwood plywood were 1.01 million cu.m in the first 9 months of 2013, 3.6% down on the same period in 2012.

Imports from Brazil during the January to September 2013 period were 680,100 cu.m, 1.8% more than during the first nine months of 2012. Imports of softwood plywood from China also increased during this period, by 10.2% to 123,100 cu.m. However, imports from Chile declined by over 27% to 104,200 cu.m.

A rise in softwood plywood imports by Germany, the UK, and Belgium was insufficient to offset a larger decline in imports by Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Prices for Brazilian elliotis pine plywood on offer to EU importers have risen $10-15/cu.m in recent months, mainly in response to good demand in Brazil and US, Mexican and Caribbean markets and to rising freight costs.

Flooding in southern Brazil during September led to a short-term increase in delivery times during the autumn months. Higher prices also led to reduced orders from some European importers concerned about the difficulty of passing on increased prices to customers at a time when European consumption is still quite slow.

Nevertheless, there are reports of reasonable European forward orders for delivery in January under the 2014 quota.

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