smth. is second to = smth. conceds the first rank to
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?
The amount of timber resources of the USA is second only to the Soviet Union.
smth. is second to = smth. concedes the first rank to
Thank you for your efforts.
Re: smth. is second to = smth. conceds the first rank to
Your phrasing "concedes" is a bit odd, but it means the other thing holds the first place, and the thing you're talking about is second.
Russia has the most timber. The US has the second most.
Mars is second only to Venus is terms of brightness in the sky this week. Venus is the brightest of all, but Mars is the secondmost bright. (That's as an example only - it's not factual.)