The COVID-19 pandemic has sent timber prices in soaring in China. It has also created major supply chain pinch points as timber imports into the country have dramatically slowed. According to a report from the China News in December, China is the world’s largest importer of timber and the second-biggest timber consumer. According to an industry research institute, Russia is China’s major timber source. China imported $2.85 billion worth of timber from Russia in 2020, followed by Thailand at $960 million and the U.S. at $779 million. In an interview with the Global Times, Pan Jinzhi, a sales manager at a timber import and processing company based in Erlian, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, focusing on importing timber from Russia, said that prices of construction timber had risen from 1,500 yuan ($228.45) per cubic meter last year to 1,900 yuan in March — a new record. A Beijing-based furniture company employee surnamed Li also told the Global Times that wood prices have risen about 20% in the past two years, because of imports limitations. Noting that some furniture producers closed as a result, and inventories of wood furniture are high. In an interview with China Central Television, Ma Haibin, a vice-chairman of the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association’s Taicang branch in East China’s Jiangsu Province, said “When the epidemic wanes and conditions improve, supplies will increase, and prices will decline slightly.”
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.
Timber prices soar, supplies short amid virus disruptions