in the Middle East and Northern Africa imported 10% of internationally
traded softwood lumber in 2015, with Sweden, Finland and Russia being
the major supplying countries, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly
Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update
- a news brief from Wood Resources International LLC
Northern Africa and the Middle East have become a major destination
for softwood lumber produced in Europe the past ten years. In 2015, the
major trade flows were from the Nordic Countries and Russia to Egypt,
Saudi Arabia and Algeria, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly in its
The countries in the Middle East and
Northern Africa, the MENA region, have become a major destination for
European softwood lumber since mid-2000. In fact, over ten percent of
world trade of softwood lumber in 2015 was destined for the MENA region.
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%. 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%, reaching over 11 million m3 in 2015, according to the latest
issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Egypt is clearly the
dominant destination for softwood lumber, accounting for 45% 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% 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% since 2014. The increase of 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. Read more about prices and imports in the Special Report
of the latest WRQ (www.woodprices.com)
The fairly new markets for softwood lumber in countries in Northern
Africa and the Middle East have grown rapidly the past ten years and
this expansion continued in 2015 despite the fall in oil revenue and
political instability in the region. Demand for softwood lumber,
particularly in Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia, can be expected to
continue to grow in the coming years.
Global lumber, sawlog and pulpwood market reporting is included in
the 52-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The
report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30
countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices, trade and
market developments in most key regions around the world.
To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com
Wood Resources International LLC
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