Russian wood imports are up dramatically through April despite Russia's war, subsequent tariffs, and other policies. And, imports of birch plywood through Vietnam—likely Russian birch plywood—are up 206%. Unlike plywood imported directly from Russia, imports of birch plywood from Vietnam are coming in duty-free. Wood exports were one of Russia's largest industries prior to the war. The data suggests that more needs to be done to stop imports of Russian wood products.
Yet another example of the high costs of inflation and rising fuel prices: diesel prices are causing loggers to shut down. Markets are also likely to slow as home sales and new construction slow in response to higher mortgage rates. One continued bright spot in the economy may be remodeling, where hardwoods pay off for homeowners and, per a new study, provide "joy." In contrast, fake wood flooring has been linked to forced labor in China.
If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association