Research - MARCH 31, 2021

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U.S. imports of softwood lumber up 4.5 percent in 2020

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Softwood lumber imports to the United States were up 4.5 percent year-over-year in 2020, contrary to most other regions of the world, according to Wood Resources International. From 2019 to 2020, importation to China and Japan was down 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively. The MENA region also saw decreased importation, importing only an estimated 8.6 million cubic meters in 2020, down from about 10.5 million cubic meters in 2019. In contrast, most of Europe's lumber imports, which are typically intra-continental, remained practically unchanged from 2019 to 2020.

Softwood lumber — North America

The lumber market in the United States has been highly unusual during the winter season with an active home building sector, tight lumber supply, low wood inventories and record prices. Lumber production was up in all regions of North America in the fourth quarter 2020 year-over-year. Furthermore, there are reports that operating rates have gone up in early

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