How will tariffs imposed on imported Chinese hardwood plywood affect US manufacturers?

January 15, 2018

The International Trade Commission recently upheld tariffs on imported Chinese hardwood plywood that average 208% due to findings that they were "dumping" product on the US market and were having an adverse affect on US manufacturers.  We have been receiving calls from member companies asking what can they do to locate new suppliers?  The problem is that due to an average of 75-85% of Birch logs from the Soviet Union being exported to Asia, the supply of Russian Baltic Birch is unable to keep up with the demand.  One importer has stated that log prices are "going through the roof" and that prices are rising $10-20 per month per cubic meter.  It is felt that prices will continue to rise until they equal the price of the Chinese stock with the tariffs added as there is only so much that can be produced regardless of the price.

The problem is that many US manufacturers have based their costs on the lower priced Chinese material, and as a result, are unable to adjust on a monthly basis.  The consumer is the one that will have difficulty with the constantly changing prices.  No one is really sure as to how this scenario will play out, all we can do is watch and pay attention.

Since 1929 the WPMA has been working hard to keep members informed on conditions that could affect their business and ability to operate profitably.  This is a situation that we will keep our members apprised of.

For more information on the Wood Products Manufacturers Association you may visit our website at www.wpma.org or call Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978/874-5445

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