France: Sawyers face problems as softwood log prices are increasing

October 14, 2014
Source:
IHB/RW
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6048
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Sixty buyers and 2% unsold volume in Champagnole (Jura)

The fall-winter softwood auction campaign organized by ONF (France's National Office of Forests) in France was launched on highly dynamic bases. French sawmills face increasing supply problems, which are particularly noticeable in the mountains of the east and especially in Jura region. For example, the auction organized in Champagnole on September 17 resulted in only 2% unsold volume and a new quarterly price increase. 

This is evident in silver fir with an average price increase of 1.5 euros/m3 since late June 2014. 2 m3 logs which were worth 63 euros/m3 in early summer, are now sold at 65 euros/m3. The average quarterly increase was 3%, but it exceeds 10% over a year. For spruce, the price of 1,5 m3 logs increased by 3.3%, but that of 3 m3 logs decreased by 3.4%. In one year, the average increase is of 6%.

In other regions, demand from sawyers is strong, and sometimes encounters unbalanced prices in relation to the market (eg, sale of ONF Saint-Martin-d'Uriage in Isère). In most cases, when the prices of logs do not rise relative to the first half of the year, they remain stable.

Most professionals blame the lack of wood for this situation- strong prices on raw materials. Anxiety reigns because the price increase rate in the lumber market is certainly slower. Finally, it appears that prices are under pressure  since the beginning of the fall. If this information is to be confirmed, the winter could be tough for some sawyers.

Table 1:

Fir prices still rising in Jura region

Bulk price on foot and under bark (euro per )

  Levier 26/06/14 Champagnole 17/09/14 Quarterly change
1 m³ 59,75 61,75 +3,3%
1,5 61,5 63,5 +3,25%
2 63 64,75 +2,8%
2,5 64,2 65,75 +2,4%
3 65 66,5 +2,3%
3,5 65,8 67,2 +2,1%
4 m³ 66,6 67,75 +1,7%

                                                                                                                                            Table 2:

Spruce price evolution in one year (FRANCHE-COMTÉ)

Bulk price on foot and under bark (euro per )

  Champagnole 18/09/13 Champagnole 17/09/14 Annual change
1 66,5 70,9 +6,6%
1,5 67 71,3 +6,4%
2 67,5 71,7 +6,2%
2,5 68 71,9 +5,7%
3 68,2 72,1 +5,7%
3,5 m³ 68,5 72,3 +5,5%