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Has Russia followed through with its 2022 log export ban?

In the Q2 2022 FRQ, we discussed Russia’s self-imposed ban on exporting “wood in the rough” starting in early 2022, in hopes of spurring their internal forest products industry. At that time, imports into the EU Trade Zone and China had dropped significantly, but not ceased entirely.

Based on import log data from Euro Stats, measured in total value (in Euros), there has been no import of logs from Russia since at least October 2022. This is a large decrease from a recent high of nearly 55 million Euros worth of logs imported into the Eurozone in July of 2020.

Chinese imports of Russian logs, based on value in USD, also decreased since the start of 2022. Total import value fell from nearly $83 million USD in Oct. 2021 to almost $31 million USD in January 2022, a 63% drop. Between January 2022 and February 2024, the value of logs imported into China from Russia dropped 42%.

Based on trade data, it seems Russia has not followed through with banning log exports. For the Eurozone, the decline can mostly be attributed to the broad economic sanctions imposed on Russia due to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. The picture is not so clear for exports to China. Logs are flowing into the country, albeit at lower volumes.

Figure: Russian Log Exports to EU and China
Data Sources: Eurostat, China Customs


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