Imported Market Update - Africa, Central America, & South America

Written by Jesper Bach

October is here and many of the same challenges that we’ve mentioned in our previous updates are things that we are still contending within the imported hardwood market. Our biggest issue continues to be Logistics, by far. Here are a few updates on what we’ve seen and where the market currently stands. 

Africa:ImportedMarketUpdate

It wouldn’t have seemed possible, but it continues to become more and more difficult to find empty containers to ship out of Africa. Today we are actively working with 5 shipping lines, multiple ports of entry, which then leads to increased inland freight for us.

Suppliers in Africa are now charged demurrage for containers that are taken to the port and due to no fault of theirs not loaded on vessels. All of this adding to the cost of operation.

Out on the oceans, we have seen rates nearly double in some cases over the last 30 days. Unfortunately, prices of hardwoods coming out of Africa will continue to rise.

South and Central America:

Across many regions, we have seen ocean rates double, and in some cases, they are four times higher than pre-pandemic!

The cost of the raw materials has increased significantly from some countries as well, and there are local issues hindering the export of lumber also. Hundreds of containers are awaiting approval to ship out of Mexico, and in Brazil, that number is in the thousands. These situations add even more pressure on prices both in the supply countries in Central and South America and here in the US.

Despite all this, we are hopeful that things will improve. But that is probably sometime down the road. For at least the next 3-6 months it looks like we will be dealing with several issues on the import side, so planning ahead on any larger projects is definitely the way to go!

If you are in need of imported hardwoods, choose us to be your trusted hardwood advisor. We are happy to see what we can do to help! 

Jesper Bach
Baillie Lumber Co.
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