Read More Articles by Hakan Ekstrom

Hakan Ekstrom

Softwood and hardwood pulpwood prices reach lowest levels in 10 years

SEATTLE, Wash. -  Wood cost is the factor that often determines the competitiveness of a pulp manufacturing plant or region, because it is the largest cost component when producing wood pulp. During the past few years, this cost has varied between 45% and 70% of the total cash cost, depending on product grade and the costs of other components such as chemicals, energy and labor.

Sawlog Prices, Falling Faster in Europe, Hit 5 Year Low

The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) has declined by almost seven percent in 18 months and in the 3Q/15, was at its lowest level in five years, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Since early 2014, sawlog prices in Europe have fallen faster than in most other lumber-producing countries around the world.

Global Sawlog Prices Hit Six-Year Low

Sawlog prices have fallen by 15-20% in a majority of the countries manufacturing softwood lumber the past 12 months, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. In North America, prices were down only 7 percent because of healthy US domestic lumber demand and respectable log export volumes from both the US and Canada.

Softwood Lumber Prices Continue to Slide Globally

Softwood lumber prices continued to fall in many markets second quarter because of weaker demand and high inventories of lumber throughout the distribution chain, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Despite reduced demand for lumber in the U.S., Europe and Asia, lumber production and trade volumes were relatively high during the first half of 2015. The supply/demand imbalance resulted in downward price pressure.

Brazilian Sawlog Prices at Lowest Level in 10 Years

Sawmills in Brazil have become much more competitive in the export market the past few years because of substantially lower sawlog costs. In the 2Q/15, average log prices were down to their lowest levels in ten years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. This downward trend may rebound later in 2015 as the export market for lumber is likely to improve.