The USA imported a total of 8.456m m³ of softwood lumber from Canada in the first quarter of this year which, according to the figures from the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), equates to a reduction of 16% against last year. After imports in January had still been slightly higher than a year earlier at +1.6%, the FAS recorded reductions of 30% and almost 15% respectively for February and March. Owing to the comparatively high softwood lumber prices on the US market in the first quarter, the value of the Canadian deliveries increased 15% to $1.418bn; the value per unit rose by a good 36% to $167.7/m³.
The FAS also recorded a reduction in US softwood lumber exports for the first quarter. At a total of 782,448 m³, the exports were 4% below the figure for a year earlier. The main reason for this minus was the 18% reduction in exports to Asia to 194,315 m³ whereby deliveries to China and Japan both fell sharply by 15% and 23% respectively to 122,840 m³ and 50.961 m³. Exports to Taiwan also fell 24% short of last year’s level. Whilst Asia export decreased, deliveries to customers in South America were raised by 10% to 305,657 m³. Roughly 6% more softwood lumber was exported to Canada as well at 180,121 m³ (170,613 m³).