Russia, as a major producer and exporter of birch plywood, is a major supplier to European countries. Data show that Russia’s share of the European plywood market has increased from 46% in 2017 to 56% in 2020; and by 2021, Russia will export about 2.1 million cubic meters of plywood to EU countries, with an export value of about $727 million.

Until this spring, Russia was responsible for most of the European region’s lumber and plywood imports. However, the share of European plywood imports from Russia changed in late February, which has since changed the market import structure of European wood and wood products.

The reasons for the decline in European imports of Russian plywood

To a large extent, the reduction of plywood imports from Russia by European countries is attributed to the outright outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine incident in February.

With EU countries announcing the implementation of economic and trade restrictions on Russia, European countries banned the import of Russian timber and wood products, PEFC and FSC also announced the cancellation of Russian timber certification, making it “conflict timber”. Against this backdrop, Russian plywood supplies to the EU fell sharply by 41% in February.

Previously, as early as June 2021, the European Union announced the imposition of temporary anti-dumping duties of 14.4%-15.8% on Russian birch plywood. Subsequently, at the end of last year and early this year, it announced the official approval of a five-year permanent import tariff on this type of plywood in Russia.

Before the Russia-Ukraine incident, European importers of plywood were faced with high plywood prices due to anti-dumping duties. Now that Europe has announced a comprehensive ban on the import of Russian plywood, the plywood market in Europe is facing a shortage, and it is urgently needed to import from other regions or produce by itself to fill this vacancy.

Brazil turns to Europe to supply plywood

In February, the same period when EU countries banned the import of plywood from Russia, the supply of plywood to the EU from Gabon, Brazil and other countries rose sharply.

Some time ago, the United States announced to suspend the sales of Brazilian plywood in its region. When Brazil lost the US market, the plywood market in many European countries was in shortage. Taking this opportunity, Brazil will divert more plywood to supply to the EU market.

Brazil’s supply of plywood to EU countries doubled to 89,000 cubic meters in May, data showed. Among them, plywood exports to the UK reached 20,000 tons, an increase of 69%, and the supply to Germany also increased by 46%. As a result, after Russia withdrew from the European plywood market, the market share of plywood in EU countries began to be taken over by Brazil.

On the whole, the European region has finally found a new plywood supply and can temporarily replace the Russian plywood market share. At the same time, Asia, Central Africa and other regions will also increase the export of plywood to the EU. With many regions competing for the European plywood market, it is expected that the European plywood market will be very lively in summer.

However, Europe is still in a wood supply shortage situation. There will still be a period of time before autumn, when the demand for wood will only increase unabated. European timber traders and consumers will have to bear high timber prices, and there may be a phenomenon of “hard to find a piece of wood”.

The post European plywood market will be taken over by Brazil, as Russia is out appeared first on Global Wood Markets Info.

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