Slowing EU imports of hardwood plywood from China

Views: 1     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2017-12-11      Origin: Site

After rising strongly in 2016, EU imports of hardwood plywood have been slowing this year. The decline in imports has been concentrated in mixed hardwood products from China. Imports of tropical hardwood plywood, both directly from tropics and from China, have been rising this year.

EU imports of hardwood plywood peaked at an annualised level of 2.80 million cu.m in November 2016, but this figure had fallen to 2.65 million cu.m by July 2017.

During this period, imports of mixed hardwood plywood from China fell from an annualised level of 1.03 million cu.m to 862,000 cu.m.

This decline in imports was partly offset by a rise in annualised imports of tropical hardwood plywood from China from 124,000 cu.m in November 2016 to 181,000 cu.m in August 2017.

During the same period, direct imports of hardwood plywood from tropical countries also increased, from an annualised level of 356,000 cu.m in November 2016 to 393,000 cu.m in August 2017.

Between November 2016 and August 2017, there were significant gains in annualised imports from Indonesia (129,000 cu.m rising to 144,000 cu.m), and Brazil (19,970 cu.m rising to 23,000 cu.m). Imports also increased from a range of smaller supplying countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and Morocco.

During the same period, annualised imports were flat from Malaysia at 123,000 cu.m and declined from Gabon from 38,000 cu.m to 35,000 cu.m.

In terms of destination countries, imports of hardwood plywood in the UK were broadly flat at an annualised level of 860,000 cu.m in the 12 months prior to June 2017, but then slowed sharply to 810,000 cu.m during summer this year.

Imports in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands have fallen more gradually since the start of 2017, and have remained stable in Poland and France.

Regulatory factors appear to have had a significant impact on the EU hardwood plywood trade this year. EUTR has encouraged greater concentration of trade into a few larger suppliers with resources required to meet the due diligence requirements.

Indonesian plywood appears to have received a boost since issue of the first FLEGT licenses in November 2016 which allows import of Indonesian product without any further due diligence.

EUTR coupled with increased technical demands of the EU Construction Product Regulation has also increased the trade’s awareness of the importance of accurate identification of species content for any product placed on the EU market.

The apparent rise in imports of tropical hardwood plywood into the EU from China may be at least partly due to more accurate identification of the actual species content.

This trend may also be partly due to a greatly increased range of named species being specifically listed as “tropical non-coniferous” rather than “other nonconiferous” following an amendment to the Harmonised System (HS) of product codes used to compile trade data from January 2017.


Slowing EU imports of hardwood plywood from China
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