United States Maintains Positive Trade Balances for Hardwood Logs and Lumber
U.S. hardwood log and lumber exports surged in the 1970s in response to adoption of floating exchange rates for international currencies. Since then, the value of U.S. hardwood imports and exports have fluctuated in terms of sources and destinations. Recent analyses by Forest Service scientists determined U.S. trade balances in hardwood logs and lumber, and changes in global markets for these products. In 1990, the United States exported six times more hardwood lumber than it imported, with Canada (25 percent) and Japan (17 percent) the most important markets. By 2013, almost half (45 percent) of U.S. hardwood lumber exports went to China, with Canada dropping to second (14 percent) and Vietnam growing to third (8 percent). The U.S. trade balance for hardwood lumber remained positive in 2013, with exports four times higher than imports. For logs, the United States has consistently maintained a positive trade balance, exporting 23 times more than it imported in 2013. The outlook for U.S. hardwood log and lumber trade remains positive. Timber availability, transportation advantages, and a modern sawmilling industry have allowed the United States to hold a comparative advantage in hardwood production.
|International trade of U.S. hardwood lumber and logs, 1990-2013||(publication)|