Global Timber Markets saw the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) jump 5.1% q-o-q in the 1Q/18 to reach
its highest level since late 2014.
- There has been a steady increase in sawlog prices worldwide over the past year with
the GSPI increasing just over 15% in 12 months.
- The Euro-based European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) reached its highest level in
almost three years in early 2018, continuing an upward trend that started in 2016.
Global Pulpwood Prices
- Strong pulp markets and record high prices for both softwood and hardwood market
pulp resulted in upward price pressures on wood fiber throughout the world.
- The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up by 3.4% from the 4Q/17
to the 1Q/18, the second highest q-o-q increase in seven years. Softwood prices
rose in all regions covered by the WRQ, with the exception of Eastern Canada
where chip prices fell 16%.
- Hardwood pulpwood saw a more modest price increase than softwood pulpwood,
with prices rising the most in Russia, Spain and Finland. The Global Hardwood
Fiber Price Index (HFPI) reached a three-year high of $90.47/odmt in the 1Q/18.
Global Pulp Markets
- Global shipments of market pulp fell 3.3% q-o-q in the 1Q/18 but increased 2.4%
as compared to the same quarter in 2017.
- In the 1Q/18, exports of wood pulp by the major producing countries worldwide
were mixed, with Brazil, Chile and Indonesia increasing hardwood pulp exports by
more than ten percent as compared to the 1Q/17. The US and Canada reduced
exports over the same period.
- Strong demand, coupled with tight supply and lower inventories, pushed NBSK
pulp prices upward during the first four months of 2018 in both Europe and North
America. BHKP pulp prices were also on a rising trajectory, but at a slower pace
than that of NBSK.
Global Lumber Markets
- After softwood lumber consumption in the US reached a ten-year high in 2017,
demand fell in early 2018. Despite the reduced consumption, lumber production on
the US west coast jumped by over nine percent y-o-y in the 1Q/18 thanks to strong
demand for lumber from China during the past year.
- In the Nordic countries, the sawmilling industry has seen its markets improve both
in regard to demand and pricing during 2017 and early 2018.
- Demand for wood in China slowed in the 1Q/18, with total import volumes of
softwood lumber falling to their lowest levels since the 4Q/16.
- Russian lumber exports increased by 10% from the previous year, reaching an alltime-
high volume of 28 million m3 in 2017 (more than double the export volume
Global Biomass Markets
Wood fiber costs for pellet producers in both Canada and the US were slightly
higher in the 1Q/18 than in the previous quarter, continuing an upward trend that
started in early 2017. Both the US and Canadian Pellet Feedstock Price Indices
were up in the 1Q/18.
The United Kingdom, the world’s largest consumer of wood pellets, imported 37%
of globally traded pellets in 2017. However, imports fell three percent from 2016,
the first y-o-y decline in nine years.
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