Changes in 2019 from 2018:
- U.S. total exports of forest products decreased by $4.0 billion (9.8 percent) to $36.8 billion in 2019.
- U.S. general imports of forest products decreased by $4.2 billion (8.6 percent) to $44.5 billion in 2019.
U.S. total exports of forest products fell by $4.0 billion (down 9.8 percent) from 2018 to 2019; these exports came to $36.8 billion in 2019, their lowest level of the five-year period (table FP.1). U.S. general imports of forest products had been increasing steadily between 2015 and 2018 but declined by $4.2 billion (8.6 percent) to $44.5 billion in 2019, though they still remained above 2016 levels (table FP.2).
Canada, Mexico, and China continued to be the top destination markets for U.S. forest products, accounting for more than half of U.S. domestic exports in 2019. These three countries, however, also saw the largest decline in U.S. domestic exports between 2018 and 2019. U.S. domestic exports to China dropped in 2019 by $2.1 billion (31.1 percent), continuing the downtrend of 2018, when these exports fell by $672 million. This caused China to drop from its position as second leading destination market to third, behind Mexico. U.S. domestic exports to Mexico fell by $347 million (5.9 percent) to $5.6 billion in 2019, while those to Canada decreased by $320 million (3.4 percent) to $9.1 billion.
The decline in U.S. domestic exports of forest products between 2018 and 2019 can be attributed to decreases in the exports of a few products. U.S. domestic exports of industrial papers and paperboards (FP011) decreased by $1.1 billion (10.9 percent) in 2019. U.S. exports of wood pulp and recovered paper (FP009) fell by $874 million (9.5 percent) to $8.4 billion in 2019. Miscellaneous articles of wood saw the largest increase of any forest products category in 2019, gaining $24 million (15.1 percent) to reach $180 million in 2019.
Canada and China continued to be the top suppliers of forest products to the United States, together accounting for 58.5 percent of U.S. imports in 2019. U.S. imports from these two countries also registered the largest decreases from 2018 to 2019. U.S. imports from Canada fell in 2019 by $2.4 billion (12.1 percent) to the lowest level in the last five years—$17.4 billion. Imports from China declined by $1.9 billion (17.7 percent) to $8.7 billion from 2018 to 2019, also reaching a five-year low.
U.S. imports of forest products from Vietnam, India, and Malaysia saw the largest increases in 2019. U.S. imports from Vietnam rose by $287 million (54.1 percent) to $818 million; imports from India rose by $111 million (31.1 percent) to $467 million; and imports from Malaysia rose by $71 million (22.3 percent) to $390 million.
Decreases in U.S. imports of forest products reflected declining imports of two main product groups. U.S. imports of wood veneer and wood panels (FP004) dropped by $1.6 billion (22.5 percent) to $5.4 billion in 2019, while U.S. imports of lumber fell by $1.4 billion (19.3 percent) to $5.8 billion in 2019. U.S. imports of certain specialty papers (FP014) and printed matter (FP016) grew by $155 million (23.2 percent) and $106 million (2.3 percent) respectively.