China demonstrates record interest in Swedish wood products

7 October 2016

Interest in sawn wood products from Sweden is at a record high in China, with exports to the country having risen dramatically in recent years, according to the trade organisation Swedish Wood.

Last month, the organisation – along with a number of Swedish sawmill operators –attended the China Global Wood Trade Conference (GWT) in Wuhan, where they experiences firsthand some of that strong interest.

”The objective behind our participation in GWT in Wuhan was to focus on the excellent quality of Swedish wood and the many possibilities it represents as well as to establish new contact opportunities between representatives from the Swedish sawmills and potential Chinese customers,” said Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, director interior and design at Swedish Wood.

China represents an important market for the Swedish sawmills industry and Swedish Wood, in conjunction with the Swedish sawmills, carried out a number of marketing initiatives which focused on the high quality of Swedish wood and the sustainability of Swedish forestry.

During 2013 Sweden exported 400,000 m3 to China, three times more than in the preceding year. Two years later, in 2015, exports had exceeded 500,000 m3. This year exports from Sweden to China are expected to set a new record at around 800,000 m3.

In 2015 China’s housing minister and head of the Chinese Ministry of Housing MOHURD (Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development), Chen Zhenggao, signed a directive calling for increased use of wood in future construction. A positive decision for exports of Swedish sawn and value added wood products to China.

”The directive represents a huge breakthrough for wood construction in the world’s biggest construction market. China is faced with major challenges in the environmental sector and, by choosing a renewable building material such as wood, it reduces its impact on climate,” said Susanne Rudenstam, director construction at Swedish Wood.

GWT conference was organised by China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA). Swedish Wood is one of the cooperation partners. The year’s conference was the sixth in succession and was held in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Wuhan has as population exceeding nine million and is an important trading hub between central and western China.