Europe surpasses Canada as lumber supplier to China

5 februari 2020 The market analyst company Woodstat reports that China imported approximately 1.88 million m³ of softwood lumber in December (-5% compared to 2018), according to figures from the Chinese Customs. The import totaled 27.1 million m³ during 2019 (+11% compared to 2018). Since China began importing softwood lumber in smaller volumes over 10 years ago, Russia and Canada have completely dominated as suppliers. Limited volumes have been imported from the US, Europe, Chile and New Zealand. / Woodstat

China’s import of softwood lumber (1 000 m³)
Russia16 07615 067+7%
Europe4 5412 830+60%
Canada4 3234 150+4%
New Zealand399367+9%
Total27 05224 442+11%
China imported approximately 3.39 million m³ of softwood lumber from Russia during Q4 2019 (-9% compared to Q4 2018), 1.14 million m³ from main European countries (+90%) and 761,000 m³ from Canada (-33%). The rapid increase in import from Europe is directly reflected in the increase in Europe’s market share. The market share for Europe reached in Q4 2019 a new record level at 20% (Q4 2018: 10%). The Russian market share in the Chinese market is slightly decreasing from a very high level and reached 58% in Q4 2019 (Q4 2018: 63%). The market share for Canada decreased during the same period from 19% to 13%.
Market shares for softwood lumber exporters
The past year’s changes in market shares can easily be seen in the chart below. The Russian market share in the Chinese lumber market levels off at a very high level. The smoothed line for the Canadian market share is decreasing and the European market share is increasing rapidly. Main European sawmills are now surpassing Canada as lumber exporter. Note that these are smoothed series that result in lagging trend lines that do not reflect major changes in individual months.

”We have lately seen a big change in market shares”, says Jenny Wessung, CEO Woodstat AB. ”The European market share in Q4 2019 is 100% higher than Q4 2018. With decreasing production in British Columbia, I see an opportunity for Europe to gain market shares.”

The figures are from the newsletter Market News published every month by Woodstat, a company specialized in monitoring the world wide softwood lumber market.

For more information contact:
Jenny Wessung, CEO
Woodstat AB

About Woodstat
Since 2007 Woodstat delivers comprehensive statistics and analysis to sawmills, forest owners and banks across the world. Woodstat publishes approximately 400 issues of the newsletter ”Market News” every year. The Market News are concise and contain the latest market statistics for the manufactured lumber product industry. Woodstat’s charts collection is available at and contains hundreds of relevant diagrammatic data for anyone working in the wood or forest industry.

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