In the third quarter, the export volume of southern pine sawn timber in the United States decreased for the first time since 2012, and the demand for the first time in the already strong domestic market was also weak.
As of September, US exports fell to 388.319 million cubic meters, down 9% from the same period last year. From 2012 to 2017, the volume of exports has grown steadily for five consecutive years, and more than doubled in 2017 compared to the same period in 2012, reaching a record 572,274 cubic meters.
In the past five years, the vigorous development of the Chinese market has driven the rapid growth of US sawn timber exports. By 2017, shipments to China have soared to a record 195,849 cubic meters. Uncertainty slowed US sales to China in the third quarter due to the US trade war with China. As of September this year, exports to China fell by 47% to 90,779 cubic meters.
The escalation of the Sino-US trade war has led China to adopt tariff increases on US imports. Affected by this, in the first half of this year, the export volume of sawn timber to China decreased by 14% compared with the same period of last year, especially in the third quarter.
The US has a mixed trend in shipping to other traditional destinations. Exports to the Caribbean in the third quarter increased by 9% to 179,097 cubic meters.