After a downturn in 2017, the quantity of EU imports of tropical logs recovered a little ground in the first half of 2018. Imports of 53,300 MT during the first half of the year were 3% greater than the same period in 2017.
However, the value of tropical logs imported by the EU fell 3% to €27 million.
EU imports of tropical logs decreased from Congo, the leading supplier, falling 3% to 12,300 MT. There was also a large fall in EU log imports from Angola, from 3,800 MT in the first half of 2017 to negligible levels in the same period this year.
However, these losses were offset by rising imports from CAR (+59% to 10,200 MT), DRC (+19% to 10,100 MT) and Liberia (+20% to 3300 MT).
Most of the gain in EU imports of tropical logs in the first half of 2018 was concentrated in France (+21% to 20,700 MT) and Belgium (+23% to 13,200 MT). Imports of tropical logs in Portugal fell 25% to 8000 MT during the period.
5% rise in EU imports of tropical sawnwood
EU imports of tropical sawnwood increased 5% to 359,300 MT in the first half of 2018. Import value also increased, by 7% to €366 million.
Although imports continued to slide from Cameroon (-8% to 116,100 MT) and Côte d'Ivoire (-7% to 14,700 MT), this trend was offset by rising imports from Malaysia (+19% to 59,800 MT), Brazil (+4% to 47,700 MT), Gabon (+16% to 47,000 MT), Congo (+6% to 21,900 MT), Indonesia (+186% to 13,500 MT) and Ghana (+16% to 7,500 MT).
The rise in imports from Indonesia, which only allows exports of S4S lumber, may be partly due to alterations in the HS codes used to record imports from Indonesia following introduction of FLEGT licensing.
The rise in EU imports of sawnwood from Indonesia is offset by a similar decline in imports of mouldings from the country.
In the first half of 2018, tropical sawn hardwood imports declined 1% to 118,000 MT in Belgium, 18% to 24,800 MT in the UK, 27% to 16,100 tonnes in Spain, and 27% to 9,600 MT in Portugal.