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

March 2023 Southern Pine Exports

March 2023 Southern Pine exports were up 24.9% over February and up 20.4% over the same month in 2022. Softwood imports, meanwhile, also were up 14.9% over the month but down 9.5% over the same month in 2022.

Our international consultants weighed in with the following thoughts on the March 2023 Southern Pine exports. Here are their thoughts:

Caribbean Region: Exports dipped the past year in line with reduced construction activity toward the tourism industry. Shipments of both bright and treated are beginning to climb as economies in the region begin to recover post-COVID, particularly in tourist hubs such as Jamaica.

  • Mexico has become the largest export market (by volume) of Southern Yellow Pine and treated lumber. Exports to Mexico have nearly doubled in the past five years, exceeding shipments to the Dominican Republic – long ranked as the top destination.
  • Haiti, meanwhile, has seen a 90% drop in imports from 2.2 million board feet (MbF) in the first quarter of 2022 to 230 thousand board feet so far in 2023. No rough Southern Yellow Pine or treated lumber has moved to the Caribbean island from the U.S. so far this year.

Europe: Shipments dipped in the fourth quarter of the year, but that’s relative to a near record in 2022. A steady rebound in the Euro vs. the U.S. dollar hasn’t helped, nor has the moribund economies in the region, which are driven by rising inflation. That’s expected to change as supply chain issues resolve and interest rates (eventually) fall.

China: Exports are surging in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. They’re up 546% year to date from 1.4 Mbf in the first quarter of 2022 to 9 Mbf so far this year. This is mostly led by a 702% year-over-year increase in dressed Southern Yellow Pine imports. While shipments to China continue to grow sharply thus far this year, exports are only one-tenth of shipments a few years ago because of rising trade tensions and prohibitively high tariffs.

India’s total of Southern Yellow Pine imports is skyrocketing over the year. The country is up 239% in the first quarter of 2023 at 6.7 Mbf, mostly led by a 1,005% increase in rough Southern Yellow Pine, which outpaces the 147% increase in dressed Southern Yellow Pine.

Overall, first-quarter 2023 Southern Yellow Pine and treated lumber exports outpaced the same period a year ago by 13 with 118 Mbf compared to 105 Mbf in 2022. That’s led by:

Trending Up

  • Belize: Trending upward in 2023 with a 357% increase in imports of treated lumber over the first quarter of 2022. That’s 2.6 Mbf year to date compared to 550 thousand board feet during the same period in 2022.
  • Costa Rica: Running 1,349% ahead of 2022 on 584 thousand board feet this year compared to 40 thousand board feet last year.
  • Egypt: Trending up in 2023, up 50% in the first quarter over 2022, mostly led by a higher demand for treated lumber with 693 thousand board feet so far this year.
  • Jamaica: Outpacing 2022 by 114% through the first quarter, with 14.4 Mbf compared to 5.9 Mbf last year. That’s led by a 179% surge in treated lumber coupled with a 122% jump in dressed Southern Yellow Pine.
  • Taiwan: On the rise with a 52% increase so far in 2023. That’s led by 593 thousand board feet of dressed Southern Yellow Pine imports so far this year, a 1,298% jump over last year. However, treated lumber is down 71% over 2022.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Up 20% over the year to 3.3 Mbf, leased by a 51% jump in treated lumber.

Trending Down

  • Pakistan: Trending down to start 2023, within 89% decrease from 5.3 Mbf to 613 thousand board feet so far this year.
  • Panama: Underperforming compared to the first quarter of 2022 with a 61% drop from 283 thousand board feet to 124 thousand board feet. Treated lumber and dressed Southern Yellow Pine is leading that drop.
  • Philippines: Down 83% so far in 2023 from 4.8 Mbf in 2022 to 825 thousand board feet in the first quarter. That drop is solely based on an 88% decrease in dressed Southern Yellow Pine imports.
  • Vietnam: Trending down at 40% below the first quarter of 2022 from 306 thousand board feet to 184 in the first quarter of 2023. No imports of rough Southern Yellow Pine have impacted that trend.

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