Chinese sawn timber import volumes grew 55% in the first quarter of 2011, according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation’s latest market report.

Imports totalled 4.35 million m³, worth US$1.1bn, which represents a 62.9% growth in value over a year ago.

The top five supplier countries were Canada (1.41 million m³), Russia (1.19 million m³) and the US (520,000 million m³).

China’s plywood exports reached 1.76 million m³ in the first three months of 2011, a growth of 25.7%, while the value of exports was up 24.3% to US$807.7m.

Flooring sales reached almost 400 million m² last year, of which 238 million m² was laminate, 43 million m² was solid wood, 89 million m² was composite and 25.3 million m² was bamboo.