Chinese Timber Market - Analysing Dynamics
By Sharanya

Chinese Timber Market - Analysing Dynamics, Performance & Outlook - Webinar Takeaways

May 31,2022

The Chinese timber market is a very interesting domain that is different in several ways from the rest of the world. Mr Amir Rashad, the CEO of Timber Exchange and Centersource Technologies took it upon himself to bring the subject of the Chinese Timber Market up for discussion on a global platform. To do so, he had a panel discussion with notable guests from the Chinese timber industry such as - Anna Ni (Senior Advisor, Business Finland), Cece Chen (Suienfe Friendship Corporation) and Shen Wei (Deputy Secretary, China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association).

Taking place on the 9th of March 2022 over a video conference that had been attended by industry experts and enthusiasts all over the world, this webinar gave a comprehensive overview of the current situation of the Chinese timber market and covered a variety of aspects across the guests’ expertise.

Amir took the lead by introducing the panellists along with their work and the 1-hour long session went on to touch upon pointers such as:

  • What are the top sectors consuming wood today in China?
  • Is today's consumption level normal compared to before the pandemic?
  • Now when the price of timber is so volatile, how does it affect export business and volumes to China?
  • Now when the price and supply of timber are so volatile, how does it affect business in the domestic market?
  • China imports both logs and lumber. How do the two markets affect each other?
  • How is the Russian log export ban already affecting the market?
  • What about the new quarantine restriction on imported pine wood? What is that, and why was it implemented?
  • Do you think the European or MENA markets have an effect on the Chinese market? What global market indicators do Chinese companies track?
  • To understand the Chinese market, foreigners often look at the inventory in Shanghai and the CIF price of Russian timber. Are those good indicators of market performance?
  • Has the timber market been affected by logistics issues during the pandemic?
  • How do you think the timber market consumption levels and prices will develop until summer?
  • How does the Chinese timber market use technology?
  • What technology and smart tools would you like to see to automate your work in import and export?

Cece Chen opened the floor by stating, “The top consuming sectors of wood are construction, furniture, OSB, plywood in China. We focus on home decoration and wooden design when it comes to Lumber as well.”

While talking about the price volatility of timber and the effects it has on the sawmills exporting to China, Anna Ni, whose company directly works with exporters says, “The impact is obvious, and that reflects both on the statistics and the mindset of the industry people. Since the COVID-time, the boom of the construction industry and the housing market in Europe and the US boosted the timber price. In China, we did the follow-up with the price because the end-use is different between China and the western market. The demand in China here is not the same rigid demand as the main markets. That’s why you could see that the volume of exports to China decreased heavily.”

On the same subject, Cece Chen says, “Since the pandemic, the whole market has been changing a lot. We see a lot of substitute and wooden products. In China, there is a certain cap or let’s say, a top price, and you can’t sell anything over the top price, because there are restrictions. We see the increased use of domestic pine.”

“Last year, China imported around 19 million cubic metres of Sawn Softwood lumber from the world. The importance of lumber has been growing from the past two decades” - Anna Ni also exclaimed. She goes on to add that “If the price gap between lumber and the processed woods from logs is not that huge, people would still prefer importing lumber because of the standard quality and good moisture.”

Talking about the Russian log import ban, Cece Chen says, “The current situation is very hard to predict. In general, the sawn timber supply has been increasing a lot since the past few years, but the current situation in hand, on the table, wl cause a lot of uncertainty.”

Shen Wei then went on to explain the new quarantine restrictions on the imported pine wood and clarified how that will affect the timber industry in general. She educated the audience members about the entire process, why it was implemented and how to go about it as well.

At one point Anna Ni states, “In the long-term, China has super potential for the timber market but, if we forecast for until the summer, the consumption level will decline, and for the price, the high-end market and the low-end market will be fragmented. The price gap between the different quality and grade of timber will be even larger than before.”

When prompted about the types of smart tools and technologies that the timber market could use, going forward, the panellists share their views on how transparency and visibility are important. Amir then goes on to state how Timber Exchange can benefit importers, exporters, and freight forwarding companies with such information through its smart tools. He also gives a brief about the New L/C manager system added to the platform.

The webinar ended with a Q/A session from the audience where the panellists were asked about the rising questions regarding the Chinese timber market. Before wrapping up the webinar, Amir Rashad shared how Timber Exchange benefits the global timber market through its three major features – Smart supply chain tools, B2B Marketplace, and the Market Data Hub.

You can check out the whole webinar by clicking -

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