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Sawn softwood imports up 15% YE March

Sawn softwood imports lifted 15.3% over the year-ended March 2021, lifting to a total 524,002 m3, as the sawnwood supply chain struggles to meet explosive demand.

Imports have been increasing progressively for most of the last six months, with imports lifting to 55,503 m3 in March, at an average price of AUDFob516/m3, as the chart below shows.

Fig32

fig32

To go straight to the dashboard and take a closer look at the data, click here.

 

Meanwhile, IndustryEdge’s Wood Market Edge online reports that in April, total sawn softwood imports slipped back to a three-month low of 43,272 m3, as the average import price lifted almost 9% to AUDFob561/m3.

It would be easy to over-analyse one month’s data, and that is to be avoided in a world where supply chains are utterly disrupted and shipping delays are the new normal. The point being that there is every prospect April’s decline was just a moment in time.

The data from IndustryEdge notes that more than 97% of the imports are of structural grades, imports of which are displayed below.

 

Australian Imports of Sawn Structural Softwood by Country: Jan ’17 – Apr ’21 (m3 & AUDFob/m3)

Fig33

fig33

Note: small number of minor contributors removed

 

It is notable that while almost all of Australia’s imports are structural grades, around 75% are treated grades in most months, all of which, as can be seen below, are imported from Europe, with the addition of supplies from New Zealand.

The average price of these imports was AUDFob459.60/m3, the highest average import price for at least four years. Of course, specific grade prices are more variable, as are the average prices for supply from particular countries.

The chart is displayed over a shorter time period for emphasis and includes both dressed and roughsawn products of all dimensions.

 

Australian Imports of Treated Sawn Structural Softwood by Country: Jan ’20 – Apr ’21 (m3 & AUDFob/m3)

Fig34

fig34

It remains to be seen whether the recent dip in imports and rise in import prices can both be sustained. For the sake of the domestic market, we can hope that both will do so.

 

Posted Date: June 16, 2021

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