HFPI reaches five-year low
Dec. 16, 2014, Seattle - Reduced pulpwood prices in Sweden, Russia, Brazil and Australia in the 3Q/14 resulted in the lowest Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) since 2009, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. With mixed price trends for softwood fiber, the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) has been fairly stable the past two years.
The costs of hardwood fiber for the manufacturing of pulp have trended downward for over three years. The global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI), which tracks prices for pulplogs and wood chips in 14 regions around the world, reached its lowest level since 2009 in the 3Q/14 when it fell to $96.76 per oven-dry metric ton (odmt). The biggest declines in prices from the 2Q/14 occurred in Sweden, Russia, Brazil and Australia mainly as the result of a stronger US dollar.
The HFPI index has trended downward for over three years when the all-time high of $117.90/odmt was reached. The largest consumption of hardwood fiber in the world is in Brazil where the pulp production has been on an upward trend for over two decades.
Despite the continued increase in pulp production and the accompanying rise in wood fiber consumption, prices for Eucalyptus logs have not changed much in Brazilian Real terms, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). In US dollar terms the picture is somewhat different, with prices having fallen as the Brazilian Real has depreciated.
The Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), which tracks global prices of softwood chips and pulplogs, has been fairly steady over the past two years, fluctuating between $98-100/odmt. The major changes in softwood prices in 2014 occurred in sawmill residuals in Western US and Western Canada where prices increased, and in Germany and Brazil where prices have fallen this year.
In Western Canada, chip prices have gone up mainly because of higher prices for softwood market pulp (NBSK), to which they often are linked, while recent price increases in Western US have been driven by a rise in the volume of exported chips to Japan.
Although wood raw-material costs for the Russian forest industry have not changed much in Ruble terms, the costs in US dollars for pulplogs have fallen dramatically from the 2Q to the 3Q this year because of the weakening Russian currency. Pulpwood prices have come down to levels not seen in more than six years. Currently, both softwood and hardwood pulplog prices are lower in Russia than in any of the 17 other regions covered by the WRQ.
December 16, 2014 By Andrew Macklin
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