White Oak log exports from the United States to the European Union have more than doubled thus far in 2023. They’re up 116% through June. Interestingly, total White Oak log exports are down -9%. This is according to official government data available on the Global Agricultural Trade System.
Exports of White Oak logs to Spain more than tripled with an increase of 238%, followed by Germany (85%), Portugal (35%), and Italy (30%).
This apparently large growth is partially a result of coming off such a low base. The EU is a relatively small market for U.S. White Oak logs. In 2022, it accounted for just 2% of the U.S. White Oak log export market. A far cry from when it made up nearly half.
Now, China (46%) , Vietnam (18%), Canada (17%) and Japan (6%) account for most U.S. White Oak log exports.
Still, this growth in White Oak log exports to the EU is noteworthy. Annualizing it through the end of 2023 would represent a significant rebound in EU demand for White Oak logs since the ban of methyl bromide oak logs.
Traditionally, most White Oak logs exported to the EU are for veneer production. It’s been more cost-effective to buy lumber and staves from US mills. However, the availability of U.S. hardwood lumber that can meet the legal requirements of the new EU Deforestation Regulation is expected to be just 10% according to the American Hardwood Export Council.
Will the EU market decide to buy White Oak logs instead of lumber in response to the EUDR? Is this already happening? Or is the recent bounce a reflection of something else going on, like advancements in log treatment, illegal (improperly treated) shipments, or just poor quality data? Subscribe.
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