In the 2Q 2020, China increased importation of softwood lumber by 42% quarter-on-quarter, reaching 7.1 million m3. This large increase followed a quarter where import volumes had fallen to a four-year low, as the Wood Resource Quarterly reported.
As estimated 8% of globally traded lumber is shipped to the Middle East/Northern Africa (MENA) region. Following two years of increases, this year saw imports decline.
US softwood lumber prices have risen spectacularly this year. Market prices for commonly traded grades have more than doubled from May to August. Record high lumber prices in the US and slightly lower costs for sawlogs moved 2Q 2020 gross margins for US sawmills to some of the highest levels seen since 2005.