Log trade in the Asia-Pacific region is dominated by imports to China. Over 20 years, log imports to China have increased four-fold and now account for 44% of total global log imports (Figure 1). Meanwhile sawn timber imports to China peaked at 22 million m3 in 2019, an increase of 17 times since the early 2000s (Figure 5). The Russia-Ukraine war could impact the forest products trade in several ways:
– Pivot of Russian exports of logs and timber from Europe to China.
– Place cost pressures on supply chains from Europe to China as European producers look to more attractive markets closer to home reducing their exposure to China.
– Rising bunker fuel costs could side-line marginal log exporters (particularly south-east US, Brazil and Uruguay) to the Asia-Pacific.