Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update
Global softwood lumber prices continued their two-year climb in the 1Q/18 with the pace being higher in North America than in the Nordic countries, Russia and China, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Lumber Markets – North America
After softwood lumber consumption in the US reached a ten-year high in 2017, demand fell in early 2018. Despite the reduced first quarter consumption, lumber production on the US west coast was actually up by 9% y-o-y when compared to the 1Q/17 due to strong demand from China. In fact, shipments to China during the 1Q/2018 were up almost 50% as compared to the 1Q/17.
While lumber production in Canada’s eastern provinces increased slightly in early 2018, sawmills in British Columbia reduced their production by an estimated three percent in the 1Q/18 as compared to the 1Q/17.
Lumber markets – Northern Europe
In the Nordic countries, the sawmilling industry has seen their markets improve both in regard to demand and to pricing during the past year. Although export volumes declined somewhat in early 2018 as compared the same period in 2017, prices increased, reaching the third highest level seen in the past decade (in local currencies).
Sawmills in Finland and Sweden have increased their presence in different markets in 2018, with Swedish sawmills predominantly expanding sales in Europe, and Finnish exports increasing to the Middle East and Japan, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Both countries reduced sales to China during the typically slow season of January and February when the Chinese New Year is celebrated.
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