Global Timber Trade - Information

Mozambique

 

China's imports of logs and sawn wood from Mozambique (by Customs District)

The abruptness of the shift to Ningbo from Shanghai (logs), and from sawnwood to logs (Shanghai) might indicate the extent to which the trade is orchestrated.  The import value per unit of volume of logs attributed to Ningbo is less than that attributed to the other three customs districts shown on this chart.  "Rosewood" (Hong mu) comprises a small percentage of the volume imported,

Imports of logs and sawn wood from Mozambique declared by China
Source: General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (including China Customs Statistics Yearbook)

Volume (thousand cubic metres)
 
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Logs
33
45
70
81
81
109
126
212
157
121
233
230
322
346
610
530
680
Sawn
0
0
0
0
0
2
4
7
40
34
78
121
122
142
170
29
32
Note: for 2014 and part of 2015, the volumes in blue font above are estimates based on source data in units of weight.

Import value (US$ million, cif, nominal)
 
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Logs 8 11 19 27 28 41 49 95 74 51 102 100 149 167 335 288 291
Sawn 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 19 16 33 54 60 73 75 19 17

Monthly statistics for the volume and import value of the logs which China imports from Mozambique (and other countries) can be downloaded by clicking here.

Trade in logs and sawn wood from Mozambique to China
Sources: for Mozamibique - UN Comtrade (including author estimates where volume data appears anomalous)
for China - General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (including China Customs Statistics Yearbook)

The above chart indicates the great extent China to which is taking advantage of Mozambique (in relation to logs).

 

Mozambique
Mozambique has announced that exports of logs would be banned with effect from 01 01 2017.[-]  If China is to respect that ban, Mozambique should formally notify the relevant authorities in China, ideally requesting direct communciation between the two countries' customs services when consignments reported as logs from Mozambique enter China.

Mozambique's customs statistics suggest that almost 42,000m3 of logs and 219,000m3 of sawn wood were exported worldwide from Mozambique during 2012. However, China seems to have imported eight times as much that volume of logs from Mozambique and a similar volume of sawn wood. This tends to suggest extensive fraud or unreported exports from Mozambique - a trend which seems to be increasing.

China accounts for almost all the timber exported from Mozambique, and logs comprise the great majority of those exports.

Per cubic metre of logs, import values increased from about US$250/m3 to roughly US$450/m3 between 2000 and 2008. In contrast, export values appear to have varied about an average of US$150/m3 (using UN Comtrade as the source of export values and China's import statistics for volume). Although this might imply (increasing) transfer pricing fraud, transportation costs rose very substantially towards the end of that period [Ocean Freight Index].

The majority of China's supplies of logs from Mozambique are declared as imports for enterprises located in Guangdong province (whose timber industry is characterised particularly by the manufacture of wooden furniture).

The provinces of Shanghai and, to a lesser extent, Zhejiang accounted for a substantial proportion of the total imported, particularly from the end of 2006 to near the end of 2007. The province of Beijing accounted for most of the remainder.

The data which appear anomalous in the chart are attributable to logs declared as imports for enterprises located in Beijing Chaoyangqu (February 2007), Shanghai Xuhiuqu (February and June 2007), Zhejiang Wenzhou (August 2007), Zhejiang Huzhou (September 2007), and Guangdong Guangzhoushi (April 2006 and April 2007). Note: corresponding import value data show the same pattern (- there are no apparent anomalies in import value per unit of wood volume).

 

Suggested reading:
"Corruption Skims Profits from China-Mozambique Timber Trade" by S Norfolk in Haramata Edition 52 (12/2007) [p23-24]
"Forest Governance in Zambézia, Mozambique: Chinese Takeaway!" by C Mackenzie for FONGZA (2006)
"How Northern Donors Promote Corruption - Tales from the new Mozambique" by The Corner House (2004)
"Gleanings on Governance - Learning from a Two Year Process of Forest Policy Support to ProAgri" by IIED (2004) [p15 §3]
"An overview of the problems faced by Mozambique's forests, forest-dependent peoples and forest workers" by V Ribeiro (2008)
"Identifying challenges and opportunities for China through a global commodity chain sustainability analysis" by C Sun et al (2008)
"China in Mozambique: a Cautious Approach Country Case Study" by Paula Christina Roque (2009) [pp7-8])
"First Class Connections: Log Smuggling, Illegal Logging, and Corruption in Mozambique" by EIA-International (02 2013)
"Facing China's demand for timber: an analysis of Mozambique's forest concession system with insights from Cabo Delgado Province" by S Wertz-Kanounnikoff; M P Falcão; L Putzel (09 2013)

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