China’s Hardwood Chip Imports for 2013

[Extracted from Wood Market Edge, the monthly market and trade intelligence service supplied by IndustryEdge]

Latest data from China Customs demonstrates China imported 8.7M bone dry metric tonnes (bdmt) of hardwood chips in calendar 2013.

The year commenced relatively slowly, with imports totaling 1.6 Mbdmt in MQ’13, but exceeding 2.2 Mbdmt in each of the subsequent quarters. Relative stability displayed from April onwards, shown in the following chart, may provide evidence of a ‘floor’ in the volumes required by the Chinese pulp producers.


Chinese Hardwood Chip Imports by Country: Jan ’13 – Dec ’13 (kbdmt & USDCif/t)

china hwd Chips Mthly jpeg

Source: China Customs


Although deliveries in November slipped below 0.6 Mbdmt, deliveries in December exceeded 1.0 Mbdmt. Of interest is that the average price for the month was USDCif175.97/bdmt, the highest price for the year.

Over the year, supplies from Vietnam accounted for 53.3% (4.6 Mbdmt) of the total, with several countries, including Australia, holding down the supporting positions.

Australia supplied 13.8% (1.2 Mbdmt) of the total, growing its position across the year as the Australian dollar depreciated against the US dollar.

In total, Australia’s exports of hardwood chips totaled 3.6 Mbdmt in 2013, at an average price over the year of AUDFob163.21/bdmt. As anticipated, the December quarter of 2013 saw a very big lift to more than 1.2 Mbdmt. The chart that follows shows the significance of the recent lift in exports.


Australian Hardwood Chip Exports: MQ’09 – DQ’13 (ktpq & AUDFob/bdmt)

Aust hwd chips jpeg

Source: ABS


While around one-third of Australia’s exports went to China over the whole of 2013, IndustryEdge estimates that lifted to almost three-quarters of the exports recorded in the December quarter.

Over the year, supplies by other countries into China included Thailand holding 16.7% (1.4 Mbdmt) of the market and Indonesian supplies were just 626 tonnes lower than Australia and accounted for 13.8% of the total.

Perhaps of interest is that supplies from South Africa (0.9%) and Chile (0.3%) barely registered.

The market is inevitably interested to see the coming year’s imports into China, as much as it remains fascinated by the volume of Australia’s exports.


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