EU imports of Russian plywood surged in the first half of 2011, according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation.

Russian hardwood plywood imports reached 416,000m3 in the first half, up 23% on the 340,000m3 shipped a year ago. The birch plywood imports made up much of the increase in EU hardwood plywood imports.

EU imports of Chinese plywood were 32% at 464,000m3 in the first six months.

However, Chinese imports have been reducing since reaching a peak in Q3, 2010.

The EU imported a total of 630,000m3 in Q2, up 9% on the same period a year ago. Imports over the first half of 2011 were 1.2 million m3, up 12% on a year ago.

The imports are at the highest level since the economic crisis in 2008.

EU imports of hardwood plywood from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil in the first half were down 40% (69,000m3), 28% (55,000m3) and 25% (24,000m3) respectively.