US predicted to import more wood from Europe

4 May 2017

Increased European lumber exports to the US are being widely predicted this year due to a combination of soaring US lumber prices and Canadian lumber exports being hit with new import tariffs on the American border, says Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

Increased exports from New Zealand and Latin America to the US are also expected, with US lumber prices reaching 13-year highs.

WRQ reports that a continued increase in US housing constructions, growing demand for wood and a strong US dollar are also recent market developments that will impact forest products market dynamics in 2017.

The US Department of Commerce’s preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian lumber imported to the US sets an average import tariff of about 20%.

Canadian lumber accounted for about 32% of total US lumber consumption in 2016. WRQ says overseas importation of softwood lumber from Europe, Latin America and New Zealand has gone up for four consecutive years with 2016 import volumes being 2.5 times higher than those in 2012.

But overseas import volumes in 2016 were still only 24% of the record high volumes of 2005.