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International News : The Global Forest Industry in the 3Q/2017

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The Global Forest Industry in the 3Q/2017

Excerpts from the 3Q 2017 issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly. To subscribe to the full 56-page market report, please visit www.woodprices.com  

Global sawmill

Global Timber Markets

  • Sawlog prices were up in most regions of the world in the 3Q/17. The price increases from the 2Q/17 were generally smaller in the local currencies than in US dollar terms because of the weakening US dollar, according to the latest Wood Resource Quarterly.
  • The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) has gone up for three consecutive quarters to reach $75.69/m3 in the 3Q/17.

wood resources

  • The Euro-based European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) also trended upward the past year, but at a slower pace than the GSPI.

Global Pulpwood Prices

  • Wood fiber costs increased for wood pulp manufacturers in most regions of the world in the 3Q/17, with the biggest increases in cost being for hardwood fiber.
  • The Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) was up 2.9% quarter-over-quarter in the 3Q/17. The HFPI has trended upwards for the past 18 months and was seven percent higher in the 3Q/17 than at its 16-year low in the 1Q/16.
  • Softwood fiber prices were also going up during the 3Q/17, mainly because of a weakening US dollar.
  • The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), which had been steady for three consecutive quarters, jumped almost four percent in the 3Q/17 from the previous quarter to reach US$88.21/odmt.

Wood resources

Global Pulp Markets
  • Global production of market pulp has increased in all major pulp-producing regions in 2017. As has been the case for a number of years, Latin American pulpmills have expanded output the most, with production during the first eight months of 2017 being four percent higher than during the same period in 2016. 
  • The strong demand for pulp has moved prices for both softwood pulp (NBSK) and hardwood pulp (BHK) upward for more than a year. Prices for BHK have increased faster than those of NBSK and in October, were close to par for the first time in over two years.

Global Lumber Markets
  • Demand for imported softwood lumber to the US has fallen by six percent during the first nine months of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. This contrasts with the world's second largest lumber importer, China, to which import volumes have been up by 21% year-over-year. The lumber trade in Europe has also picked up in 2017, with the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, and Spain having increased imports the most so far in 2017, reports the WRQ. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, also known as the MENA countries, have sharply reduced consumption of lumber this year. In the first eight months of 2017, Egypt and Algeria have decreased imports by 24% and 39% respectively. 
  • Increase in US lumber demand during the third quarter was met by higher domestic production both in the South and the West.
  • Lumber prices in both Finland and Sweden have strengthened in 2017, and in August, reached their highest levels since early 2015. Healthy domestic demand for lumber and strong export markets both contributed to the upward price trajectory. 
  • Average import prices to China have continued their three-year climb to reach $190/m3 in September. 
  • The Russian sawmilling sector continues to add capacity in Siberia and the Far East, targeting the expanding demand for lumber in China. Just during the first eight months of this year, Russia increased shipments to China by 23% as compared to the same period in 2016.

Global Biomass Markets
  • It is likely that 2017 will be another year of record trade of wood pellets. The biggest increases in shipments to the major markets this year have been in pellets bound for Denmark, South Korea and Italy.

Global timber and wood market reporting is included in the 56-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, established in 1988 and with subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices and trade, and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to

Contact Information

Wood Resources International LLC
Hakan Ekstrom
Seattle, USA
NOTE: The commercial aspect of the Forestry South Africa (FSA) website, as well as the commercial side of the FSA Newsletter, is managed and run by Fevertree Media (Pty) Ltd which is a separately run entity to the non-profit organisation Forestry South Africa.

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