Russian imports of timber and EWPs slump

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GEELONG, AUSTRALIA

Imports of wood products from Russia to Australia slumped in June 2022, with the total value of imports crashing 53% compared to the prior month. Valued at a total AUD4.2 million on a free-on-board basis, the value of monthly imports from Russia was the lowest for fourteen months.

Commenting on the latest data, IndustryEdge’s Tim Woods said the data came as no surprise. “Importers have been telling us they thought the June data would see the beginning of the decline in Russian supply. They were right.  This will not be the end however.”

“June saw the value of sawnwood imports fall 60%, plywood imports were down 64% and builders joinery slumped 49%. Builders joinery includes LVL and other posts and beams, a product line of which the local industry simply does not manufacture enough. We are expecting that import supply to be hit even harder in the next two to three months out of Russia. We observe very little tolerance of conflict wood among our clients in the supply chain.”

The chart here shows the value of imports of Builders’ Joinery from Russia were rising, mainly driven by growth in supplies of LVL. That will slow even further in coming months and may trickle into obscurity altogether. 

 

Australian Wood Product Imports from Russia: Jan ’20 – Jun ’22 (AUDFobM)

Source: ABS derived and IndustryEdge’s Wood Market Edge online

 

As the table below shows, the turn around in the value of imports from Russia has been rapid. Over the whole of 2021-22, the value of imports was up 96% to AUD98.8 million. We do not have a crystal ball, but IndustryEdge considers it likely the value of imports from Russia will crash to less than AUD25 million in the current financial year, with only material ‘on sea’ likely to make its way to Australian shores.

“We are aware of considerable scrutiny in the supply chain right now, about Russian supply. We are being asked for independent updates on an ongoing basis, which is not a normal state of affairs.” Tim Woods said.

“This data is all available to our clients and since the year-end files became live late last week, we have seen large numbers of downloads. Sure, its year-end, but we think most of the interest relates to this Russian situation.”

 

AUDM Sawnwood Plywood Builders’ Joinery (inc LVL & GLT) Other Total
2020-21 7.702 12.241 30.268 0.330 50.541
2021-22 10.910 22.281 65.101 0.516 98.808
% Change 41.7% 82.0% 115.1% 56.1% 95.5%

 

The second chart shows the monthly import value on the red line and the bars display the month-on-month change in value. IndustryEdge expects to see import values halve and halve again over coming months. As Russian supplies continued their slow journey to Australia, this chart shows the wood products already on the sea were continuing to trend upwards. It has only been the last month where they really fell, albeit the trend had turned down a few months back.

 

Australian Wood Product Imports from Russia: Jan ’20 – Jun ’22 (AUDFobM & %)

Source: ABS derived and IndustryEdge’s Wood Market Edge online

 

Subscribers to Wood Market Edge online can click here to access all the latest data and can undertake their own analysis. For a confidential discussion on your data and information needs, contact IndustryEdge.

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