South China imports of U.S. wood and wood products climb to new high
International News Desk : South China’s imports of U.S. wood products reached a new high of $700 million in 2016. The value has grown steadily over the past 8 years. The U.S. furniture industry drives the demand for South China wood products; Guangdong Province has been the largest furniture exporter in China for the past 17 years.
For the last 8 years, South China’s imports of U.S. wood and wood products have been on a continuing rise in general, and last year a new annual import record of 700 million USD was written, accounting for about 30% of China’s total imports from the U.S.
This strong demand of South China for U.S. wood and wood products mainly stems from its prosperous furniture industry and Guangdong Province is especially the biggest furniture manufacturer and exporter not only in South China, but in the whole nation. For 17 years in a row, Guangdong has taken the lead in annual sales of furniture among all provinces. And consequently, Guangdong plays a pivotal role in the domestic distribution of imported wood.
For a very long time, high-end furniture made of imported wood has mainly catered to the need of oversea consumers. However, with the expansion of middle class, these high-end furniture begins to gain wider popularity in the domestic market. What’s more, with the abandonment of one-child policy, China is expected to see an noticeable population growth, and hence an increase in demand for goods and services. In addition, according to a research jointly conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Beijing Jiaotong University, China’s urbanization rate is going to hit 63% by 2020, and by 2018 China’s urban population will exceed 800 million.
While the increasing need for wood is inevitable, the domestic supply of wood continues to fall short due to the government’s blanket ban on commercial logging of native forests. To encourage more oversea wood and wood product exporters to enter the vast market of South China, the Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Guangzhou is now actively staging and supporting events that promote the imports of wood and wood products.