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Mena imports 10pc of global softwood lumber

DUBAI, July 6, 2016

Countries in the Mena region imported 10 per cent of internationally traded softwood lumber in 2015, with Sweden, Finland and Russia being the major supplying countries, reported the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

Over the past ten years, the region has become a major destination for softwood lumber produced in Europe. In 2015, the major trade flows were from the Nordic Countries and Russia to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, the latest WRQ report said.

Import volumes to Mena increased virtually every year over the ten-year period leading up to the Egyptian Revolution in 2013, when shipments to Egypt fell by 15 per cent. When the political situation stabilized in Egypt, practically all countries in the region expanded their importation of lumber.

From 2013 to 2015, total import volumes to the Mena region were up 26 per cent, reaching over 11 million m3 in 2015, according to report.

Egypt is clearly the dominant destination for softwood lumber, accounting for 45 per cent of the total imports, followed by Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Algeria is the market that has grown the most the past five years with a doubling of its import volume.

Finland, Sweden and Russia are the three dominant supplying countries to the Mena region; together accounting for 73 per cent of all lumber shipped the region in 2015. Other larger suppliers in Europe include Romania and Slovakia, while shipments from North American and Latin America still account for a very small share.

Prices for lumber exported to Egypt from the two major supplying countries, Finland and Sweden, have dropped quite substantially the past two years. The average price for Swedish spruce has fallen the most, over 50 per cent since 2014. The increase in lower-cost Russian lumber in the Egyptian market has pushed prices down more in Egypt than in e.g. Algeria and Saudi Arabia where Russian lumber exporters still are not a presence. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Mena imports | softwood lumber |

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