By: The Working Forest Staff
Global Timber Markets
- The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) increased to US$76.34/m3 in the 4Q/17, up 1.0
percent from the 3Q/17. This was the fourth consecutive q-o-q rise, with the GSPI being
up 9.8 percent in one year.
- Sawlog prices have gone up universally in US dollar terms in 2017, with the biggest growth
occurring in Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries and in Western North America.
- Sawlog prices in Europe were generally lower in the 4Q/17 (in Euro terms) after having
reached a two-year peak in the 3Q/17. In the 4Q/17, the European Sawlog Price Index
(ESPI) fell 1.2% from the previous quarter.
Global Pulpwood Prices
- Pulp manufacturers in many countries have seen their wood costs go up during 2017, with
the biggest increases in US dollar terms occurring in Western North America, Europe,
Russia and Australia.
- The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) increased for the third consecutive quarter
in the 4Q/17 and was 4.0% higher than in the same quarter in 2016. Year-over-year, wood
fiber prices have gone up the most in Western Canada, Sweden, Spain, Russia and Chile.
- Hardwood fiber prices have also trended upward over the past year with the Global
Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) reaching its highest level in almost three years
during the 4Q/17.
Global Pulp Markets
- Pulp production was up throughout the world in 2017 with the total production reaching
just over 53 million tons, or 3.2% more than in 2016.
- The biggest increase from 2016 was seen in Western Europe where output was up +5.1%.
Prices for market pulp reached new record highs in early 2018 when softwood market
pulp (NBSK) prices in Europe averaged over $1000 per ton.
Global Lumber Markets
- Trade of softwood lumber reached an all-time-high in 2017 as demand for wood was
strong in most key markets around the world. An estimated 126 million m3 of softwood
lumber was shipped from forest- rich countries such as Canada, Russia, Sweden and
Finland to markets with high consumption of lumber, including China, the US, the United
Kingdom, Japan and Germany.
- US softwood lumber production in 2017 reached the highest level seen in ten years, with
the biggest increase in the southern states.
- The strong market for lumber in the US led to record high lumber prices in both the US
and Canada in late 2017 and early 2018.
- Finnish softwood lumber production reached a ten-year high in 2017. The higher
production was driven by expanding lumber exports, particularly to China.
- Over the past two years, prices for imported softwood lumber to China have been steadily
rising and reached the highest levels in three years in early 2018.
- The Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) lumber markets grew fast from 2007 to
2015, reaching a peak in 2015. Since then, import volumes have fallen by over 20% to an
estimated nine million m3 in 2017.
- Although lumber imports to Japan fell in the 4Q/17, the total volume for the year was up
slightly for the second consecutive year.
Global Biomass Markets
- Global trade of wood pellets has grown quite substantially over the past five years, from
11.8 million tons in 2013 to 18.3 million tons in 2017 with Europe being the dominant
- Most of the investments in pellet production over the past five years have been in the US
South, while investments in Canadian capacity have been limited.