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Global timber, lumber prices up in Q1 2021: WRQ


July 6, 2021
By Wood Resources International LLC

In its latest quarterly summary, Wood Resources International says lumber prices in the U.S. have “taken off to levels where they have never been before.”

Global timber markets

The strong lumber markets in North America and Europe resulted in higher sawlog prices in most parts of the world in early 2021.

The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) has increased for three consecutive quarters to almost $79/m3 in the 1Q/21. This is substantially higher than its 25-year average.

The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) rose to €81.44/m3 in 1Q/21, up nine per cent from the previous quarter. The most significant price increases from late 2020 occurred in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

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Global lumber markets

Lumber prices in the U.S. have taken off to levels where they have never been before. In April of 2021, average prices reached record levels that were more than three times as high as 12 months earlier.

The sawmill industry in both Finland and Sweden has increasingly shipped lumber outside Europe over the past decade. In Finland, this share was up from about 50 per cent in 2010 to reach almost 60 per cent in 2020.

Softwood lumber imports to Japan have been in steady decline for the past five years, and this trend continued in early 2021 when volumes were 14 per cent lower y-o-y.

With lumber prices reaching the stratosphere and costs for sawlogs moving up only marginally, profits for sawmills in North America and Europe were at record highs in the 1Q/21.

Global biomass markets

Global trade of wood pellets has increased every year for the past decade with North America being the leading net exporting region.

The forecasted growth in wood pellet production in Europe will increase competition for wood fibre and require new feedstock sources.

The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) is a 70-page report, established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30 countries. The report tracks prices for sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellets worldwide and reports on trade and wood market developments in most key regions around the world. For more insights on the latest international forest product market trends, please go to WoodPrices.com.