The two biggest global trade flows are unaffected by the war in Ukraine. Canada delivered 23.2 million m³ to the US in the first three quarters of 2022, i.e. 5% less than in the same period of 2021. As China Customs reports, China received 8.9 million m³ of softwood lumber from Russia (-11%) in the months from January to September 2022. This negative trend is mainly the result of China’s “zero Covid policy” which has led to a sharp decline in demand.
The trade flow from Austria to Italy is in third place. In the first three quarters of 2022, Austria sold almost 2.2 million m³ of softwood lumber to Italy, which corresponds to a 6% decrease but was nevertheless enough to outperform shipments from Sweden to Great Britain. The latter usually rank third among the global trade flows, but lost two places last year because Great Britain only bought 1.8 million m³ (-19 %) and Germany shipped significantly bigger volumes to the US (almost 2 million m³; +17 %). As a result, the transatlantic trade flow between Germany and the US was the fourth largest in the world, followed by Sweden-Great Britain. What stands out is the marked increase in shipments from Sweden to the US, which rose by 57% to over 900,000 m³ in the first nine months of 2022. Since other European countries also exported increasing volumes to the US in the first three quarters, European softwood lumber already accounted for 13% of the US’s overall imports. If this upward trend continued in the fourth quarter, Europe sold an estimated 4.8 million m³ to the US in the full year 2022.
Canada recorded decreases on all export markets. Not only its main customer, the US, also Japan (880,000 m³; -26 %) and China (870,000 m³; -30 %) received much smaller volumes.
Egypt bought more softwood lumber from Scandinavia in 2022. 825,000 m³ (+20%) were imported from Finland and 810,000 m³ (+50%) from Sweden.
Canada and the US dominate exports and imports
In the first three quarters of 2022, almost 90% (23.2 million m³; -5% compared to the same period of 2021) of the overall global trade volume were imported by the US. Russia is probably still the second largest exporting country. However, as Russia stopped publishing statistics on exports in February 2022, there are no official figures available. The figures in the table are based on reports from the respective importing countries. In the first three quarters of 2022, Sweden was able to increase its exports (9.85 million m³; +2.4%), as was Germany (7.94 million m³; +3%). Finland (6.29 million m³; -3%) and Austria (4.46 million m³; -1%), on the other hand, recorded decreases.
With a total of 12.32 million m³, China is the second biggest importing country behind the US. Great Britain ranks third with imports of 3.86 million m³ in the months from January to September 2022. Japan outperformed Germany and rose to fourth place with an import volume of 3.67 million m³.
|Trade flows incl. planed timber in 1,000 m³|
|N.||Exporter||Importer||Jan – Sep 2021||Jan – Sep 2022||Diff. in %|