What’s the Story With January 2023 Southern Pine Exports?

January 2023 Southern Pine Exports

January 2023 Southern Pine exports, which includes treated lumber, were down 7.7% over December 2022 but up 5.5% over the same month in 2022. Softwood imports, meanwhile, were up 10.2% over the month and up 15.3% over the same month in 2022.

Our international consultants weighed in with the following thoughts on the January 2023 Southern Pine export data. Here are their thoughts:

At first glance, it seems there potentially was not as much availability in rough dimension lumber as there was dressed lumber. So maybe some markets switched over to dressed and have a lower reliance upon rough. This may be a factor of just what is available, or it could be a shift in demand from the consumer. 

Also worth noting:

  • Sales to the Caribbean reached a near record in 2022 and it’s hard to tease out a trend thus far in 2023 based one month’s worth of data. We’re hearing tourism is quickly on the rise post-Covid in the Caribbean, so that would support a ramp-up in building activity.
  • Likewise, shipments to Costa Rica and Belize (two tourism meccas) are up sharply, probably for the same reason as above.
  • Keep in mind, exports to some of the small islands see hit-and-miss trends based off of a big project (such as a resort calling for big demand) followed by not much the months after.
  • Sales to Egypt are up sharply but nowhere near the same volumes from a few years ago, potentially impacted by European producers pushing hard in North Africa.

SFPA members: Don’t forget to check out the our members-only site to get a full breakdown on every country’s import and export numbers for Southern Pine and treated lumber!