Home Blogs Hakan Ekstrom The Global Forest Industry in the 3Q/2011

The Global Forest Industry in the 3Q/2011

Global timber markets

With weaker demand for lumber around the world, sawlog prices fell in a majority of the 21 markets tracked by the WRQ. The Global Conifer Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) declined in the 3Q for the first time since the 1Q/09 to $90.18/m3. With a few exceptions, prices fell in both local currencies and in US dollar terms. The only region that saw any substantial price increase in the 3Q was British Columbia, where prices were up 5-7 percent from the 2Q. This region has benefited from higher lumber exports and production has increased during 2011.

Global pulpwood prices

A strengthening of the US dollar against many currencies resulted in lower wood fiber costs in US dollar terms for the pulp industry in the 3Q. As a consequence, the Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) fell by less than one percent to $108.90/odmt, which was the first decline since 2Q/10. In addition to the exchange rate adjustments, prices also fell in the local currencies in Russia, France and Spain. The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) rose for the fifth quarter in a row,reaching $117.91/odmt, an increase of 14 percent since early last year. The biggest increases from the 2Q/11 occurred in Chile, Japan, Indonesia and Brazil. The premium of $9.01/odmt for HFPI over the SFPI has never been higher than in the 3Q.

Global pulp markets

The global demand for market pulp has been weakening the past four months, particularly that of hardwood pulp. Pulpwatch reports that global shipment of BHKP pulp fell from 1.76 million tons in June to 1.41 million tons in July. Although shipments picked up in August and September, the outlook for the next six months is for lower demand and reduced pulp production as compared to the same period one year ago.The softwood market pulp (NBSK) price has fallen from its record high in June earlier this year. In just four months, the price has come down almost $100/ton to $930/ton as of early November, according to FOEX.

Global lumber markets

Although there is limited production data available for the full third quarter, there are early reports indicating lower production levels in the US, Eastern Canada, the Nordic countries, Russia and a number of countries in Europe. In addition, a number of the largest lumber-consuming countries in the world imported less lumber in July and August than they did in the previous months. Some of these countries included the US, the UK and Germany. Even the fast increase in imports to China seen earlier in the year slowed down during the fall. In British Columbia, sawmills have been running at an 83 percent utilization rate thanks to continued strong exports to Asia. Production during the first eight months reached 8.2 million m3, which was 7.2 percent higher than the same period in 2010. Softwood lumber imports to Japan are up nine percent so far this year. Total imports for the year may reach around 6.8 million m3, the highest import volumes since 2007

Global biomass markets

Prices for woody biomass, whether it was sawmill byproducts, forest residues or urban wood waste, were lower in 2011 than the previous two years in most regions throughout the US, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review. The expansion of pellet capacity in Europe over the past five years has been much faster than demand. Pellet prices in Sweden fell for the first time in almost three years. In Germany and Austria, pellet prices only changed a few Euros. The price discrepancy between the three largest markets in Europe is currently the widest it has been since 2007.

Source : Hakan Ekstrom

Wood Resources International LLC

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