WRQ: Global trade volume of softwood in 2019 remained stable but prices declined in all continents

16-03-2020
Wood Resource Quarterly,global timber markets,global lumber markets,US,China,2018,2019,review

Global Timber Markets

Global trade volume of softwood in 2019 remained stable but prices declined in all continents.

• Global trade of softwood logs in 2019 remained practically unchanged from 2018 at 93 million m3. As much as 45% of globally shipped logs were destined for China, reported the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

• Sawlog prices continued their decline on all continents in late 2019. By far the biggest price reductions in 2019 occurred in Europe, particularly in the central region of the continent.

• In the 4Q/19, the GSPI sawlog price index dropped for the seventh consecutive quarter to its lowest level since early 2016.

Global Lumber Markets

Sawmills in the south of US saw profits tumble from record highs in 2018 to below their 10-year average in 4Q/19.

• Profits for sawmills in the US South reached record highs in 2018 but have since fallen substantially and were below their ten-year average in the 4Q/19, according to the WRQ.

• 2019 was the year when Russia surpassed Canada as the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber. The shift at the top came as the result of declining exports from Canada, particularly from British Columbia to the US, and a substantial increase in exports from Russia to China.

• Overseas lumber supply to the US increased to a record 14% of total imports in the 4Q/19, with Germany, Sweden, Chile, Brazil and Austria being the largest suppliers.

• China continued to increase importation of softwood lumber in 2019 when 28 million m3 was unloaded at the country’s ports, 15% more than in 2018.


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