prices in Austria and Germany have fallen to their lowest levels in 10 years
and both countries are still major log importers of logs
Prices for domestic and
imported sawlogs in Austria and Germany have falling during 2015 and 2016 to
levels not seen in ten year, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. While
domestic log prices have declined, they are still among the highest in Europe
and many sawmills in the two countries have increased importation of lower cost
sawlogs from neighboring countries the past few years.
Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update
- a news brief from Wood Resources
Sawlog prices in
Austria and Germany have fallen to their lowest levels in 10 years and both
countries are still major log importers of logs, reports the Wood Resource
Seattle, USA. Softwood
sawlog prices in both Austria and Germany have been in steady decline for about
two years and in the 1Q/16 they reached their lowest level since 2006 (in
US dollar terms), according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Although less
dramatic, prices have also trended downward in Euro terms with average prices
currently being 12% lower than two years ago.
Despite the recent price declines, sawmills in the two countries have some of
the highest wood costs in Europe. The high costs for domestically sourced
sawlogs have driven sawmills to increasingly source wood raw-material from
neighbouring countries where log prices are lower. Germany and Austria are the
second and third largest importers of softwood logs in the world and Germany in
particular has increased importation substantially over the past five years. In
2008, Germany was actually a net exporter of logs of about 1.6 million m3 but
the flow of logs has since turned around and the country was a net importer of
5.4 million m3 in 2015. The major log-supplying countries in 2015 and early
2016 have been the Czech Republic, Poland, Norway and Estonia.
Austria imported just over 6.5 million m3 of softwood logs in 2015 and is on
pace to reach closer to 7.5 million m3 in 2016. Three countries supply about
85% of the import volume, namely the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovenia. The
biggest shifts in log sourcing over the past ten years have been the sharp
reduction in importation from Germany, while Slovenian imports have gone up
from 180,000 m3 in 2006 to 1.2 million m3 in 2015.
A majority of the imports are sawlogs for the domestic lumber industry, often
at lower cost than the domestic market prices, according to the WRQ (www.woodprices.com).
However, some Austrian pulp mills are also importing marginal pulpwood volumes,
predominantly from Slovenia, to supplement locally sourced pulplogs and wood
chips. Similarly to domestic pulplog prices, import prices have also fallen the
past few years, from approximately $90/m3 in 2011 to $60/m3 in 2016.
European lumber, sawlog
and pulpwood market
reporting is included in the 52-page quarterly publication Wood Resource
Quarterly (WRQ). The report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers
in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices, trade
and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com
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