Aspen prices remained steady before ending the quarter on an upswing. Hardwood and softwood prices saw significant increases before tapering off to typical levels. Average fuelwood prices steadily increased over the past three quarters.
Forest2Market’s latest Midwest Delivered Price Benchmark shows average prices for aspen remained relatively steady throughout the second quarter of 2013. Hardwood and softwood prices were more volatile, displaying steep increases between the close of the first and the start of the second quarter. Residual chip pricing, both hardwood and softwood, has shown little volatility over the last nine months.
Aspen pulpwood prices remained relatively constant throughout the quarter, starting at $41.03 per ton in April before dropping to $40.91 per ton in May. Aspen closed the quarter at a high of $41.57 per ton in June.
Average hardwood pulpwood prices increased $4.68 per ton from March ($44.29 per ton) to April ($48.97 per ton). The spike was largely due to increased woodyard transfers and hauling from piledown areas as spring breakup came into full swing. Hardwood pulpwood prices fell to $46.70 per ton in May, and were back in line with winter price levels by June ($45.06 per ton).
Softwood pulpwood prices also increased at the start of the spring season, coming in at a quarterly high of $49.03 in April (prices averaged $47.84 per ton in March). Prices then fell five percent over the quarter to $47.65 in May and $46.48 in June. The end of seasonal road restrictions and increased supply are expected to help moderate prices throughout the summer months.
Peter Coutu, Forest2Market’s Business Lead for the Midwest and Northeast regions, noted the delivered price reports have added a degree of transparency previously absent in the Midwest market. “At Forest2Market, we strive to provide our customers with the information they need to make better-informed decisions and improve business performance. Since its introduction to the Midwest in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Delivered Price Benchmark has helped subscribers identify significant opportunities for adding value to their wood fiber supply chain.”
In addition to aspen, hardwood and softwood delivered prices, the benchmark reports fuelwood pricing. Average prices for biomass have displayed a slow but steady increase since 4Q2012, the first quarter Forest2Market introduced its delivered price benchmark to the Midwest. Overall, the per ton average price for biomass increased $1.16, from $26.34 in Q4 2012 to $27.50 in Q2 2013. The increase is attributed to rising competition for raw material and seasonal factors.
Forest2Market Delivered Price Benchmarks
Forest2Market launched its Delivered Price Benchmark service for the Midwest in 2012. The report provides quarterly price information based on transaction-level data for aspen, hardwood, softwood and fuelwood. Forest2Market has provided its delivered price benchmark service in the US South since 2006 and the Pacific Northwest since 2007.
Forest2Market provides market pricing data as well as wood and fiber supply chain expertise to customers in the forest, wood and paper products, recovered fiber and bioenergy industries. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company also has offices in Eugene, Oregon and Appleton, Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.forest2market.com.
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