The latest trade statistics published by Eurostat show a significant decline in softwood lumber exports to Japan for the first half of the year. With a decrease of about EUR 140 million, the value of goods declared was -29% less than in the same period of the previous year. Total goods exported to Japan (under HS 440710) were worth EUR 480 million. The most significant decline was recorded in May with around 40% less exported value.
The reductions affect all European export countries. Finnish and Swedish deliveries fell by more than 20%. The two countries were able to expand their market shares among European exporters with an increase of around 10 percent. However, Austria and Romania lost market shares: with a decline in export values of -42% and -37%, their combined share is now of only 30% (last year: 36%). Exports from Germany also decreased by -42%, though the share of German softwood lumber exports totaled only 4,1%, and thus play no significant role.
At the beginning of the year, the Japanese magazine, Japan Lumber Journal (JLJ), predicted a decline in Japanese lumber imports by 8.8% for 2014. For imports from Europe, JLJ was expecting a decrease of -22%.