Softwood lumber global trade was up seven percent in the first half of 2014, with Russia, Germany and Sweden increasing shipments the most, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

The increase in trade is due to a higher demand for wood products following the global recession. The higher consumption of lumber has resulted in a rise in global trade of lumber with shipments in 2014 on pace to be the highest since 2006—36 percent higher than five years ago—which was the bottom of the decline in lumber trade, reports the WRQ.

About two-thirds of the world’s lumber production is consumed domestically, while the remaining third is traded internationally, either to countries that consume large volumes of wood products such as the US, China and Japan, or to countries with limited domestic forest resources, such as Egypt, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

During the first half of 2014, global lumber trade was seven percent higher than during the same period in 2013. Most major exporting countries have shipped more lumber this year than last year, with only New Zealand bucking that trend.

Russian exporting sawmills have ramped up production to record levels this year and the export volumes are up almost 15 percent as compared to the same period last year, with much of the rise due to shipments to China, Egypt and the CIS countries. Lumber producers in both Sweden and Germany have also shipped more lumber in the first half of 2014 than they did in the first half of 2013. Export volumes for these two countries may in fact reach their highest levels in at least seven years if lumber demand in particularly Egypt, China and countries in Western Europe continues to remain strong.

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