Lumber from Russia. Is it worth it?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by datum posted 08-24-2011 04:56 PM 929 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View datum's profile


3 posts in 2492 days

08-24-2011 04:56 PM

Hey guys,

It is my first post here and I hope you can help me by sharing your opinion.

I have very close connections with multiple lumber/wood producers in Russia. Since I am absolutely new to lumber business, I wanted to see your opinion whether it is worth it to import wood from Russia. On one hand they supply high quality product at 1/2 of US retail prices, but on the other hand the minimum order is 1,400 cubic feet.

Do you think this concept has a potential?

4 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4149 days

#1 posted 08-24-2011 09:30 PM

I think that with customs you’re not only dealing with potential biology issues, and whatever market protection tariffs are in place, but also Lacey act issues on sourcing. Not that these things are insurmountable, figuring them out probably means lots of opportunity.

I think to make it worthwhile to ship you’ll pretty much have to be moving stuff at least a container-full at a time, so you’ll have to figure out the connections to see how you do that cheaply. My impression is that it’s several thousand bucks if you do it one-off on your schedule, several hundred bucks if you can figure out how to play the shipping game.

And then you have the channel: Who are you going to sell it to and how? Probably worth walking down to your local high end lumberyard and engaging them in a discussion about what you’d have to do. I know that we had a thread here on LumberJocks a few years ago started by a guy in Oregon who was going to cut down some trees that were borderline for commercial use and would have loved to see it not go to waste, and it’s amazing how much logistics we would have had to put into place to turn that “cheap” wood into usable lumber.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View datum's profile


3 posts in 2492 days

#2 posted 08-24-2011 09:44 PM

Customs should not be a problem. All products come with health certificates. Before exporting they spay the wood with antiseptics and other chemicals. Talking to a customs broker now, hopefully that guy know what he is doing.

No need to grease anyone in Russia. Everything was done before me. Those guys constantly export wood to Europe. All that super expensive italian furniture available in US stores made from Russian wood.

Right now trying to find at least one wholesale who would test one container.

I was thinking it might be a good idea to start with birch. It is not widely available in US and it is expensive. US price is $5-7 per board foot. If you get it from Russia it will be around $3 including all expenses (tariffs, delivery).
There are no restrictions on Russian wood products in US.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2947 days

#3 posted 08-24-2011 09:49 PM

1,400 CUBIC Feet??? That is a lot of wood.

-- Life is good.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 08-24-2011 10:02 PM

1,400 CUBIC Feet??? That is a lot of wood.

16,800 board feet, if my math is right!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics