Tropical countries lose share in expanding EU market
Although EU imports of timber products increased to the highest level in a decade in 2017, imports from tropical countries continued to decline.
The total value of EU imports of wood products was €18.17 billion in 2017, 2.4% more than in 2016. This followed an increase of 1.3% to €17.74 billion in 2016. In 2017 EU import value was at the highest level since 2008 just before the global financial crises (Chart 1).
The value of EU imports of wood products from tropical countries decreased 1.8% to €3.78 billion in 2017. This follows a 1% fall the previous year. The share of tropical countries in the total value of EU wood product imports declined from 22% in 2016 to 21% in 2017. This is a resumption of a long- term trend in declining share of tropical countries in total EU imports after a brief rebound in 2015 (Chart 2).
China’s share in total EU imports of wood products fell from 30.5% in 2015 to 28.9% last year, the lowest level since 2008. Meanwhile the share of Russia and other CIS countries increased from 19.3% to 21.1%. In 2017, there was a slight increase in share of EU imports from non-EU European countries (from 10.9% to 11%) and North America (from 11.5% to 11.7%).