Chinese tropical hardwood log imports up 6% in 2017

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Chinese tropical log imports in 2017 totalled 9.65 million cubic metres up 6% year on year and accounted for 17% of the national total, a year on year decline of 2 percentage points. The value of tropical log imports in 2017 was US$2.846 billion reflecting a 17% rise.

Before its log export ban, Myanmar was a major source of tropical logs for China. However, China’s log imports from Myanmar in 2017 fell to just 15,300 cubic metres valued at US$12.76 million. The average price for imported logs from Myanmar surged in 2017 to US$1,271 per cubic metre.

The average price for imported tropical logs in 2017 was US$295 per cubic metre, a year on year rise of 10%. China imported tropical logs mainly from Papua New Guinea (30%), Solomon Islands (29%), Equatorial Guinea (11%), Congo Brazzaville (8%), Cameroon (5%), and Nigeria (5%). Just 10 countries supplied 92% of China’s tropical log requirements in 2017.

Log imports from Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria surged 57% and 56% respectively in 2017. Countries from which tropical log imports declined greatly included Laos (-37%) and Liberia (-30%). In addition, tropical log imports from Ghana and PNG fell 12% and 11% respectively.

The main port for tropical log imports in 2017 was Nanjing Port which accounted for 86% of all tropical log imports, a year on year decline of 1 percentage points.

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