Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

China Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments

Eric Wong

By Eric Wong

Managing Director, Canada Wood China

January 11, 2017

October/November economic highlights: 

  • As the world’s second largest economy China’s growth-rate has stayed constant for the last three consecutive quarters of 2016.[i]
  • With the strong growth in Q4, the Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) which is expected to be held in mid-December will set the tone for China’s economy and policy next year. The growth target is expected to be maintained at the current range between 6.5% and 7.0%.[ii]
  • In October China’s overall wood imports decreased 10.7% month-on-month, but both Canadian log and lumber imports increased compared to the previous month.
  • In November China log imports increased 25.93% month-on-month and lumber imports increased 15.97% month-on-month.

China’s GDP growth rate in Q3 2016 stayed at 6.7% which is identical to the forecast made for 2017 by International Financial Research Institute of the Bank of China.[iii] Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang and Henan are the top five provinces in terms of GDP in the third quarter of 2016.[iv]

Caixin PMI dropped to 50.90 in November from 51.20 in October and then increased to 51.9 in December 2016. China Exports grew by 0.1% year-on-year to USD 196.81 billion in November 2016 which was the first increase in eight months; exports also increased 5.9% year-on-year following a 3.2%decrease in a month earlier.[v]








China Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased to 102.30 Index Points in November (102.10 in October 2016).[i] USD/CNY raised continuously from 6.67 (October 1st) to 6.76 (October 31st) and 6.77 (November 1st) to 6.89 (November 30th)[ii]; CAD/CNY dropped from 5.08 (October 1st) to 5.05 (October 31st) but increased again from 5.05 (November 1st) to 5.13 (November 30th)[iii].

Real Estate Construction Market 

From January to October 2016 the total investment in national real estate totaled RMB 8397.5 billion, growing 6.6% year-on-year; during the same period construction floor area started increased to 1.37 billion m2 with 8.1% growth year-on-year. In October the total investments in national real estate equaled RMB 937.7 billion including RMB 636.3 billion in the residential sector; this month construction floor areas started in China reached 147.20 million m2 including 103.15 million m2 (70%) in residential sector.








Building material prices 

Building material prices have increased. Price for cement in China increased 1.80% from RMB 286.67 per metric ton on November 1st to RMB 291.83 per metric ton on November 30th [i]; rebar steel was worth RMB 2,448 per metric ton on November 1st and then increased 19.06% to RMB 2,914.67 per metric ton on November 30th [ii].

Wood Export to China 

BOABC (Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant) analysts predict the domestic wood market may continue to grow for two reasons:

  • The demand for wood will increase in later period thanks to the prosperous sales of commercial housing this year.
  • Wood import cost will continue to grow due to the RMB devaluation.[iii]

Russian softwood lumber imports dropped three months in a row from August to October but rose 5% in November 2016, Canadian softwood lumber imports increased 5% in October month-on-month and an unexpected 26% month-on-month in November 2016. From April to November this year imports of logs and lumber of all species decreased slowly and hit the lowest in October (6.06 million m3); however, wood inventory at Taicang port kept rising in general and its October figure is the highest during the past three months.


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[1] CNN ( October 19th, 2016). China’s economy holds steady—but for how long?

[1] Focus Ecnomics ( December 13th, 2016). China Economic Outlook

[1] China News Network (December 8th, 2016). Forecast: 6.7% GDP growth in China in 2017

[1] CNGOLD (October 26th, 2016). GDP ranks in Q3 2016 in China

[1] Trading Economics (November, 2016). China Exports

[1] Trading Economics (November, 2016). China Consumer Price Index (CPI)

[1] XE Currrency Charts: USD to CNY

[1] XE Currency Charts: CAD to CNY

[1] BOABC (November 2016). China Wood and Its Products Market Monthly Report

[1] BOABC (November 2016). China Wood and Its Products Market Monthly Report