Hardwood plywood is an important material for many U.S. manufacturers. It’s used to make kitchen cabinets, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, flooring, and furniture. TimberCheck™ estimates that 10% of hardwood plywood in the United States originates directly from Russia.
Imports dominant in the U.S. market
In 2019, about 54.4% of the hardwood plywood consumed by manufacturers in the United States was imported.
The U.S. consumed at estimated 4.5 million cubic meters (m3) of hardwood plywood (Alderman 2020). The U.S. produced an estimated 2.15 million m3, and exported 95,700 m3. So, U.S. production less exports totaled 2.05 million m3. To make up for the deficit, it imported 2.45 million m3. (To be exact 2,457,026 m3).
Russia’s share of the U.S. hardwood plywood market
In 2019, Russia supplied 9.48% of hardwood plywood consumed in the U.S. market. The U.S. imported 426,871 m3 of hardwood plywood from Russia. About 97% of which was Birch plywood products.
In 2021, the U.S. imported 558,526 m3 of hardwood plywood from Russia. That’s a 30% increase from 2019. If U.S. consumption of hardwood plywood has grown 30% since 2019, then Russia’s share is likely to still be 10%. If U.S. consumption did not grow this fast, then Russia’s share may be higher today.
Either way, considering that the other leading hardwood plywood suppliers – Vietnam and Indonesia – ship large amounts of Russian Birch hardwood plywood, the amount of hardwood plywood in the U.S. originating from Russian forests is probably much higher than 10%.