Shipments from New Zealand and the US were up 29% and 20% respectively while Russian exports to China fell 9% in H2 2012 as compared to the H1 2012.

Log imports for the full year were down 15% from 2011, which was the first year-over-year decline since 2008. From 2008 to 2011, China’s imports increased by as much as 70% to a record 30 million m3 in 2011.

Despite the decline in 2012, the total import volume was still the second highest on record. And for the month of December, there have never been more logs unloaded in Chinese ports than in the December of 2012.

The most dramatic shift in log supply sources for China over the past few years has been the diminished exports from Russia and the sharp increase in log volumes entering from New Zealand.

Just five years ago, China imported as much as 21 million m3 of softwood logs from Russia and only 1.2 million m3 from New Zealand. In H2 2012, the two countries shipped about 4.8 million m3 each.