May 28, 2023

The export of Russian timber products is rapidly falling, in the first quarter of 2023, the supply of boards and timber from pine, spruce and larch decreased by 20.9%, to 4.5 million cubic meters, May 27 informs “Kommersant”. The first quarter figures are commensurate with the overall decline in the timber export market in 2022.

The trend towards negative dynamics was set against the backdrop of the sanctions of the European Union, which was one of the key buyers. It accounted for up to one-fifth of all export deliveries, but experts expect that shipments will recover due to their reorientation from Europe to China.

In the first quarter of 2023, purchases of Russian lumber and other unfriendly countries were reduced by 6.4 times, to 271.6 thousand cubic meters, Japan reduced imports by 47%, by 40.3% the United States, Korea – by 18.7% .

Of the key consumers of wood, China and Uzbekistan remained, they accounted for more than 74% of the total export volume: China purchased 2.88 million cubic meters, demonstrating an increase of 3.5%, and accounting for 63.6% of the share of exports, Uzbekistan purchased 480 thousand tons. cubic meters, with an increase of 13.4%, its share was 10.6%.

Experts cite high stocks in China’s warehouses, as well as falling prices amid expensive logistics, as the main reasons for low demand.

The production of key timber products is also declining: in the 1st quarter of 2023, year-on-year comparison, production decreased by 12.3%, to 6.6 million cubic meters. The production of plywood fell by a third – to 738 thousand cubic meters, fiberboard – by 22.8%, to 141 million conventional square meters, chipboard – by 9%, to 2.6 million conventional cubic meters.

The production of key wood products also cannot get out of the negative dynamics. The output of sawn timber in the first quarter of 2023 decreased by 12.3% compared to the same period last year, to 6.6 million cubic meters. Paper production lost one-fifth of its volume, and fell to 2.369 million tons. The production of wood and wood pulp sank less than others – the decrease was 3.9%, to 1.1 million tons.

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