Sawlog prices were higher in practically all of the 20 regions worldwide as tracked by the WRQ each quarter. The only exceptions were in Canada, Western US, Finland and Brazil where prices were slightly lower than in the previous quarter.
The reduced prices in North America resulted in a 0.6 % drop in the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) to $85.94/m3, the first decline since the 2Q/12.
Global trade of logs may reach just over 76 million m3 in 2013, which would be six percent higher than in 2012 but slightly lower than in 2011.
Global Pulpwood Prices
Softwood fiber prices were up in most countries worldwide with just a few exceptions including Sweden, Brazil and Oceania. The largest price increases were seen in the US South, Germany, France and Spain.
The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) edged up to $97.94/odmt in the 3Q/13. This was $0.19/odmt higher than in the previous quarter but $2.11/odmt below 3Q/12 price.
The mood in the sawmilling sector in the Nordic countries has improved this fall after a year of mostly disappointing sales to traditional markets. There is cautious optimism for multiple reasons including improved housing markets in the US, higher lumber demand in China and Japan, and signs of a recovery in Europe.
During the first ten months of 2013, China’s lumber imports were 20 % higher than last year. Canada is the largest lumber supplier, but this year Europe, Russia, Chile and New Zealand have all increased their shipments to China at a faster pace than has Canada.
Softwood lumber imports to Japan have been 20% higher this year than last year, with the biggest increases in shipments from Sweden, Finland and Austria.
Global Biomass Markets
Pellet export volumes from North America to Europe continued to rise during the 2Q/13, representing steady growth for the past seven quarters. In the US South, pellet export volumes in the 2Q/13 increased 16% from the previous quarter to just over 700,000 tons.
As often has been the case, pellet prices in Germany were on the move upwards in the fall after a quiet summer.