Russian plywood exports decreased by 41% to 2 million m3 in 2022. The export value fell by 39% to $1,2 billion.
Europe and the USA have been the main markets for Russian plywood exporters. However, exports to Europe were vastly reduced due to sanctions imposed on Russia in 2022, and U.S. export duty on Russian plywood increased from 3% to 50%. In addition, due to the withdrawal of leading container carriers from Russia, logistics became more complicated, which had a negative impact on the supply of wood products, including plywood.
Plywood exports from Russia to the European Union fell by almost 56% and amounted to 603 thousand m3 in last year. The export value decreased by 47% compared to 2021, to $414 million. Thus, Russia shifted from first to third position on European plywood imports in January-November 2022. China was the leading exporter of plywood to the EU, the volume amounted to 937 thousand m3, 2% less than in 2021. Brazil took second place and increased plywood exports to the EU by 35% to 725 thousand m3.
Russian plywood exports to the United States soared 72% to 161 thousand m3, the value fell by 75% to $104 million. As a result, Russia has rolled from fifth to seventh position in terms of plywood export to the US market, yielding to China and Chile – 499 thousand m3 and 486 thousand m3 respectively. On the hardwood plywood segment, Russia ranks third as before.
The UK has also closed its market for Russian plywood producers. Russian plywood shipments to the UK fell by 85% to 18 thousand m3 in 2022. The export value also decreased by 85% and slightly exceeded $12 million. Russia took fifth place on the UK plywood imports in 2021, but the country didn’t even enter the top ten in 2022. China remained the leading exporter to the UK, 677 thousand m3 (-5%).
In conditions when exports to Western markets turned out to be difficult, Russian producers were forced to expand their presence in Asia. Plywood exports from Russia to Azerbaijan, Israel, Egypt, China, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia totaled 772 thousand m3 in last year. This is 31% more than in 2021. However, the increase is not so significant in physical terms – just 134 thousand m3. Exports to Turkey increased most of all the volume rose by 4.5 times to 91 thousand m3, and the export value – by 5.5 times to $65 million.
Egypt was an important export market for Russian plywood producers in 2022. Shipments to Egypt increased by 14% to 344 thousand m3, and export value rose 39% to $199 million.
Russian plywood exports to the Middle East had a multidirectional trend in last year. Exports to China increased by 46% and reached 105 thousand m3 worth $62 million (+32%). The volume of exports to South Korea decreased by 37% and amounted to 33 thousand m3, and the export value decreased by 32% to $32 million. Plywood exports to Japan soared 99.7%to 173 m3, the value down 77% to $234 thousand.