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Daily News / Market Analysis / Sawmilling / Statistics / Global / North America
April 25, 2016

Rise in US tropical sawnwood imports

Rise in US tropical sawnwood imports

US imports of sawn hardwood recovered in February following the steep but brief decline in the previous months. Temperate and tropical sawnwood imports were 96,307 cu.m. in February worth US$39.4 million.

Us tropical sawnwood imports from India soared to 1,218 cu.m. in February. A small portion of the imports were teak (80 cu.m.) while the majority was ‘other tropical’ species.

Both the decline in imports and last month’s rise were primarily in temperate species.

Tropical sawnwood imports increased 13% in February to 16,346 cu.m. However, year-to-date imports were one third lower than in February 2015.

The value of all US tropical imports was US$16.4 million with ipe imports (US$3.9 million) accounting for almost one quarter of the total.

Ipe sawnwood imports grew 50% month-over-month to 1,962 cu.m. in February. Year-to-date imports were down 45% from February last year. Balsa remained the largest tropical import by volume. The US imported 3,925 cu.m. of balsa sawnwood in February, down 9% year-to-date from February 2015.

Imports of sapelli (2,001 cu.m.) and acajou d’Afrique (1,400 cu.m.) declined in February. Sapelli imports were also significantly down on a year-to-date basis, but with only two months of imports in 2016 volumes can still improve significantly.

Feb-15 Feb-16 Change
Total sawn imports 22.472 16,346   ↓
Ecuador 3,967 3,930   
Brazil 3,194 2,842   
Cameroon 4,065 1,987   
Malaysia 2,367 1,119   
Congo (Brazzaville) 1,285 817   
Peru 3,030 61   
Indonesia 796 830   
Ghana 1,098 540   ↓
Cote d'Ivoire 122 359   
Other 2,548 3,861   

Data source: US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

Mahogany imports (1,027 cu.m.) were up in February, both month-over-month and year-to-date. Imports of keruing sawnwood (948 cu.m.) declined again after a brief increase in January.

Brazil increased the volume of sawn hardwood shipments to the US by 37% in February, helped by a favorable exchange rate. The largest increase was in ipe shipments, but US imports of jatoba and virola from Brazil also grew. Despite the overall decline in US imports of sapelli in February, Cameroon’s sapelli shipments increased to 1,210 cu.m.

Sawnwood imports from Malaysia were down more than one third in February to 1,119 cu.m. Imports of keruing from Malaysia fell from 1,336 cu.m. in January to just 689 cu.m. in February.

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