European imports of tropical logs gained ground in the first eleven months of last year, rising 14% to 158,954 cu.m . According to a ITTO report, imports were almost exclusively sourced from African countries although Suriname is now established as a small but consistent supplier of logs to the EU, particularly of denser and FSC-certified wood for sea defence works and similar heavy-duty applications.
EU imports of tropical logs increased sharply from Congo (up 18% to 38,136 cu.m), Democratic Republic of the Congo (up 17% to 35,277 cu.m), Cameroon (up 9% to 34,936 cu.m), and Central African Republic (up 16% to 18,471 cu.m). There was also a resumption in log imports from Liberia, which jumped 41% to 10,094 cu.m in the first 11 months of last year.
Much of the growth in EU imports of tropical logs was concentrated in Belgium and Portugal, the second and third most important EU importers after France, which at 63,943 cu.m only imported 1% more than in 2014. Belgium imported 28,979 cu.m between January and November 2015, more than twice as much as the year before (+122.6%).
Portugal shows a similar trend: at 28,226 cu.m the country imported 57.9% more than in 2014. And Italy, too, boosted its import volume by 49% to 15,583 cu.m .