Romania is the eighth largest supplier of imported softwood lumber to the United States (U.S. Census Bureau Trade Data). And the volume of Romanian softwood lumber entering the U.S. market has grown exponentially over the last decade.
The volume of softwood lumber imported into the U.S. from Romania increased 16,926% between the end of 2010 and 2019. In 2019, the U.S. imported 151,703 cubic meters of softwood lumber from Romania, while in 2010, just 891m3 entered.
And in the first eight months of 2020, it’s up 39% over the same period as the year prior.
Still, the share of softwood lumber from Romania in U.S. markets is small when considering the dominant country of origin, Canada (less than 1%). Excluding Canada, Romania accounts for 4.29% of the softwood lumber imports in the U.S. market.
But Romania’s share of U.S. softwood lumber markets changes when looking at species-specific segments. Romania ships Spruce, Fir, Pine, and SPF lumber to the U.S. The main species being Spruce which makes up 88.7% of the total Romanian softwood lumber imports (by volume).
Looking closer at the U.S. Spruce market (excluding Sitka Spruce), the United States imported 1,244,547 cubic meters in the first eight months of 2020. (This is an increase of 89% over the same period in the year prior.) Of this, Romania accounted for 8.7% of the imported Spruce lumber market share, behind only Germany and Sweden, and ahead of Russia and Canada.
If you buy Spruce lumber in the United States, there’s a decent chance it originated in Romania. And this chance is likely to get bigger in the years to come.
Concerned about legal risks in Romanian timber supply chains? Join TimberCheck™ or check the Timber Risk Map. Want to know where your Spruce lumber originated? Start a WoodFlow™. Curious what the forest looks like after the harvest, request access to TimberSat™.