Excerpts from the Wood Resource Quarterly (www.woodprices.com)
Global Timber Markets
• Relatively small adjustments in both exchange rates and in log prices in local currencies, resulted in the smallest quarter-to-quarter decline of the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) seen in five quarters.
• The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) did not change much quarter-over-quarter and was $90.87/m3 in the 1Q/16. Before this last quarter, the ESPI had been in steady decline for two years and in the first quarter of this year was 27% below the 1Q/14 level.
Global Pulpwood Prices
• Softwood fiber prices fell in a number of countries in both local currencies and in US dollar terms in the 1Q/16. The downward price trend that started in Europe in early 2014 has continued, although in some markets, prices are starting to level out and the bottom might have been reached.
• The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), dropped one percent to US$87.62/odmt in the 1Q/16, which was its lowest level since the 1Q/06.
• The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) fell 0.6% in the 1Q/16 mainly because of lower prices for hardwood pulplogs in Russia, Eastern Canada, France and Germany. The HFPI has been on a consistent decline the past five years.
Global Pulp Markets
• Global production of market pulp increased by over three percent in 2015. This increase in production continued in early 2016 with data for the first two months showing a healthy 3.0% growth as compared to the same period in 2015.
• A majority of the major pulp-exporting countries have expanded shipments in 2016 with Brazil, Russia, Canada, Chile and Finland shipping around 10% more in the 1Q/16 than they did in the 1Q/15.
• An excess of Eucalyptus market pulp (BEKP), particularly in Europe and North America, has continued to push hardwood pulp prices downward during the first four months of 2016.
Global Lumber Markets
• Global softwood lumber trade reached an all-time high in 2015 when, according to estimates by the WRI, 118 million m3 was traded internationally. This year has started out with even higher volumes being traded around the world; the 1Q/16 shipments were approximately 20% more than in the 1Q/15.
• There was mostly upbeat news about the US lumber market in the first few months of 2016; housing starts were the highest since 2007, lumber consumption was 14% higher than the same period in 2015, lumber exports were up 13% from 2015, importation of lumber increased 47%, and lumber prices reached their highest levels in over a year.
• The Nordic countries increased lumber export volumes in both 2014 and 2015 and the trend continued in early 2016.
• Importation of softwood lumber to China from the two largest supplying countries, Russia and Canada, were 33% and 4% higher, respectively during the first four months of 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015.
• Russian lumber export prices have fallen 36% in two years in US dollar terms. In Ruble terms, prices were close to record high levels in the 1Q/16.
Global Biomass Markets
• North American overseas pellet exports increased for the third consecutive quarter in the 4Q/15, rising seven percent from the previous quarter to just over 1.7 million tons. The total for the year was 6.1 million tons, which was two percent higher than in 2014 and almost four times as much as in 2010.
• Pellet prices in the three major markets in Europe, Germany, Austria and Sweden, were stable or in decline in the local currencies.
Global timber and wood market reporting is included in the 52-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly. The report, established in 1988 and with subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices, and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com