Most of the world’s wood chip trade is that of hardwood chips in the Pacific Rim. In 2022, the global wood chip trade accounted for about 42 million bdmt, of which about two-thirds were hardwood chips destined for pulpmills in China and Japan.
The two largest log-trading regions in Europe are Central Europe (where Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany are the major importers) and Northern Europe (Finland and Sweden are the two log-importing countries).
The world's thirst for renewable energy continues, and demand for wood pellets—mostly made from sawmill byproducts—is increasing. As a result, the total global wood pellet trade in 2021 was up 9% YoY to 29 million tons, 50% higher than in 2017.
Lumber trade flows changed almost instantly when Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Trade sanctions and restrictions in financial transactions by Europe, North America, and major markets in Asia halted shipments from Russia and Belarus.
Trade of logs and lumber in Europe will change dramatically in the coming years as timber harvests in Central Europe decline and the sanctions against Russia result in a plunge in forest products imports
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to impact global trade in the coming months. Increased sanctions against trading with Russia and difficulty with financial transactions will probably interrupt and re-direct shipments of forest products throughout the world.
Wood fiber costs for pulp manufacturers have gone up in practically all countries covered by the WRQ over the past year. In the 3Q/21, the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was at its highest level since 2014, 8.1% higher than the 3Q/20.