After a sharp downturn in 2017, EU imports of tropical logs recovered some lost ground in 2018 but were still at historically very low levels. Imports of 111,700 MT in 2018 were 11% greater than the previous year.
The value of tropical logs imported by the EU also increased, by 5% to €55.7 million. As for sawnwood, EU imports of tropical logs picked up pace in the second half of 2018 after a slow start to the year.
EU imports of tropical logs increased from Congo, the leading supplier, rising 7% to 29,600 MT in 2018. There was also a significant increase in EU log imports from DRC (+20% to 21,100 MT), CAR (+78% to 21,000 MT), Liberia (+69% to 5,500 MT), and Guyana (+56% to 1,300 MT).
These gains offset declining imports from Angola, from over 5,000 MT in 2017 to negligible levels in 2017, Cameroon (-6% to 17,200 MT), Equatorial Guinea (-21% to 5,900 MT) and Suriname (-37% to 1,300 MT).
Most of the gain in EU imports of tropical logs in 2018 was concentrated in France (+10% to 39,800 MT) and Belgium (+40% to 30,100 MT). Imports of tropical logs were very slow in Portugal in the first half of 2018 but increased in the second half of the year.
In total, Portugal imported 19,400 MT of tropical logs in 2018, 2% more than the previous year. Italy’s imports also increased, by 3% to 10,400 MT in 2018.