“China is still a relatively new market, but there is great interest among importers and wholesalers. We also see that sales have broadened, from just spruce sideboards to also include center cut and pine. This contributes to our expectation of higher export volumes in the next few years,” says Jan Söderlind, International Director at Swedish Wood.
Forecasts show that Swedish exports of wood products to China will exceed 400,000 m3 for the first time in years. This is almost a tripling of the levels in 2012.
“This is still a lower rate of growth than we had expected, but we are in a good position for the future,” says Jan.
The conference, which was held on 17 September, included business meetings, seminars on global trade in sawn timber products and panel discussions with a Chinese perspective on wood processing, product innovation and investments in global forestry.
Noted among the seminars was a lecture by Magnus Niklasson, Analyst at the Swedish Forest Industries Federation, about how the Nordic and European markets for sawn timber affect exports to China. On behalf of European Wood, Mattias Fridholm, Managing Director of SCA Timber China & South East Asia, also held a presentation on construction materials like glulam and cross-laminated timber (CLT).
“These are new construction materials in China, where building with wood is still in its infancy. What we have exported to-date is mainly sawn timber products for interior decoration, such as furniture production,” explains Jan Söderlind.
A part of the conference was also devoted to business meetings where Swedish sawmills and wood processing companies like SCA, Holmen, Martinsons, Bergkvist-Insjön, Södra, Setra, Norra, Vida and Glulam of Sweden were represented.
“It is enjoyable that so many of our member companies were there. At Swedish Wood, we will continue to work in China with sales support activities in order to increase consumption of Swedish wood products in selected segments,” says Jan Söderlind.
During Global Wood Trade, which attracted around 400 visitors, the trade organisation Swedish Wood also exhibited a 12-metre long illustration wall with sawn samples of Swedish spruce and pine.
The conference was arranged by China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association in cooperation with Swedish Wood.