SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Canada- the historically largest foreign source of softwood lumber imports by the U.S. has reported steady decline in its share over the recent past. The country, which accounted for almost 96% of the U.S. imports in 2015, now has lesser share. The share of imports dipped to 90.1% in 2019 and fell further to 86.7% during the previous year.
The sharp fall in imports from Canada is mainly attributed to the tariffs placed by the U.S. administration on lumber imports from that country. The fall in Canadian share was filled by other countries. The exports from Germany to the U.S. witnessed dramatic surge, with its share of U.S. imports rising from 0.6% in 2016 to 4.6% in 2020. Also, Sweden’s share reported steady rise from 0.3% in 2013 to as high as 1.9% in 2020. The other countries to see dramatic rise in share of U.S. softwood lumber imports include Brazil, New Zealand, Austria and Romania.
The domestic softwood lumber production has recorded steady jump since the Great Recession. The domestic producers have only been able to meet only up to 70% of the total U.S. demand over the past three decades. The sawmill industry jobs declined by 3.5% during the one-year period between December 2019 and December 2020.