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Global chip trade moderates but hardwood price remains stable

After slipping back in March, global woodchip deliveries to China continued to soar while Japan slipped back in April, with hardwood chip deliveries down 2.0% into Japan (0.760 Mbdmt) and up 15.1% into China (1.592 Mbdmt). Over the year-ended April, deliveries into Japan were 6.7% lower than a year earlier and into China were 3.7% lower over the same period.

Reported global softwood chip deliveries to China have collapsed over the year-ended April, down almost 46% compared to a year earlier. From a high of 109,352 bdmt in January, April saw just 18,196 bdmt imported. Expectations remain that the larger volumes of Russian supply are being imported informally.

Hardwood Chip Deliveries to China and Japan: Jan ’21 – Apr ‘24 (bdmt & USDCif/bdmt)

To examine Asia Pacific Woodchip Trade data, subscribers can login to Wood Market Edge, scroll to the bottom of the page and download the ‘Asian Woodchip Deliveries’ file and the associated detailed data files.

Australian woodchip exports totalled 4.545 Mbdmt year-ended April 2024

Australia’s combined annual exports of hardwood and softwood woodchips totalled 4.545 million bdmt year-ended April 2024. Hardwood chip exports totalled 3.651 million bdmt, 22.9% lower than a year earlier. Exports of softwood woodchips totalled 0.894 million bdmt. The chart on the following page displays total woodchip exports on a monthly and annual basis.

Australia’s entire woodchip export trade, including both hardwood and softwood, is still masked by confidentiality restrictions, declared as ‘No Country Details’ (NCD). As such, no formal export data is available, only the monthly total volume and a total average price are reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Subscribers seeking to understand greater details of woodchip exports can interrogate IndustryEdge’s woodchip vessel tracking data in the file ‘Australian Woodchip Shipment & Delivery Data’, which can be found under the ‘Woodchip’ heading in Wood Market Edge online. Click here to get the data.

Australian Woodchip Exports by Species: Jan ’21 – Apr ‘24 (‘000 bdmt)

Source: ABS, GTIS & IndustryEdge estimates

Australia’s average hardwood chip export price was stable in April 2024, down 2.5% to AUDFob261/bdmt. Average softwood chip export prices fell 3.8% to AUDFob233/bdmt.

Woodchip Export Prices by Species: Jan ’21 – Apr ‘24 (AUDFob/bdmt)

Source: ABS, derived and IndustryEdge

The following chart shows the same prices, calculated in US dollars, using RBA end of month exchange rates. The recent month’s price movements in US dollars should be treated as indicative only as the USD/AUD exchange rate was quite febrile for the month.

Woodchip Export Prices by Species: Jan ’21 – Apr ‘24 (USDFob/bdmt)

Source: ABS, derived, RBA and IndustryEdge


Based on month-end exchange rates, the table below shows the average price of Australia’s woodchip exports in US dollars for the last three months.

Posted Date: July 1, 2024

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