US: Recovery in wood product imports in May

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US imports of most major wood products increased in May. The most significant growth was in imports of wooden furniture. The increase is partly a recovery from low imports earlier this year, when severe winter weather disrupted supply chains, but May 2014 imports of furniture and several other wood products were higher than at the same time last year.

Hardwood plywood imports from Indonesia more than doubled

Hardwood plywood imports in May at 327,887 cu.m were around 30% higher than in April and year- to-date imports are 6% higher than in 2013. The growth in hardwood plywood imports was mainly in hardwood plywood imports from Indonesia which shipped more than doubled the amount from a month earlier to almost 100,000 cu.m in May. Year-to-date imports from Indonesia were 38% higher than in 2013.

Hardwood plywood imports from China also grew by 30% to 147,958 cu.m. Year-to-date imports are still slightly below 2013 (-3%). Hardwood plywood imports from Russia, Ecuador and Canada all declined in May.

Brazil’s moulding shipments up

The value of hardwood moulding imports was US$19.7 million in May, up 19% from the previous month. Year-to-date imports were 8% higher than in 2013. Imports from all major suppliers increased, except Canada.

At US$6.9 million, China was again the largest source of imports. Imports from China increased by 37% from April, but year-to-date imports in 2014 are still below 2013 levels. Brazil's moulding shipments were worth US$5.4 million in May, up 25% from the previous month.

Hardwood flooring imports down, but Malaysia shipped more

Imports of assembled flooring panels grew in May, while hardwood flooring imports declined. Assembled flooring imports were worth US$11.7 million in May, up 25% from April. Hardwood flooring imports were US $2.9 million, down 8%.

Assembled flooring shipments from China increased by 35% in May to US$5.8 million but solid hardwood flooring imports from China were US$0.4 million, down 34%. On a year-to-date basis assembled flooring panel imports from China are below 2013 levels, while hardwood flooring imports are 10% higher than last year.

Assembled flooring panel imports from Brazil fell by 50% in May, while imports from Indonesia and Canada increased. Year-to-date imports from Brazil are now 40% below May 2013.

For hardwood flooring, Malaysia was the only major supplier with higher shipments to the US in May and imports from Malaysia increased by 27% to US $0.7 million. Brazil and Vietnam also shipped more hardwood flooring to the US in May.

Growth in furniture imports from China, Vietnam and Mexico

Wooden furniture imports continued to grow in May. Total imports were worth US$1.25 billion, up 8% from April and 11% higher year-to-date than in 2013.

China led the growth in shipments to the US market. Imports from China were US$618.8 million in May, up 17%. China's share in tot al US imports of wooden furniture year-to-date was 47.1% in May, slightly down from 47.7% in May 2013.

Furniture imports from Vietnam were worth US$206.8 million, up 7%. Year-to-date imports from Vietnam were 50% higher than at the same time in 2013. Vietnam's imports share to date in 2014 was 17.0%, up from 12.5% in 2013. Furniture imports from most other major suppliers declined in May, with the exception of shipments from Mexico.

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