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March 20, 2020

Coronavirus and impact on world forest products trade

Coronavirus and impact on world forest products trade
  • As the world grapples with a widening impact and unexpected global consequences of the coronavirus, both stock markets and lumber markets are getting hammered. While U.S. market fundamentals looks favourable — the best in three years or longer — other markets are going through different phases. In China, it appears that factories, including sawmills, are back to work after the Chinese government took unprecedented steps to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In terms of Europe, Italy is a large market for sideboards (for the pallet industry); however, the Italian market is temporarily closed off to receiving shipments, and this is now impacting market options for many central European mills. And, with an overall lack of containers (they are stuck in Chinese ports), some export markets may see some temporary shortages. In addition, last week the Czech Republic closed its borders. On it goes as the pandemic unfolds.

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