Pulp wood prices continue to slide
June 15, 2016 - Wood costs for the pulp industry have been falling steadily worldwide for almost five years with hardwood fiber prices declining the most, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) fell by 0.6 per cent in the Q1/16 mainly because of lower prices for hardwood pulplogs in Russia, Eastern Canada, France and Germany.
By Andrew Macklin
The HFPI has been on a consistent decline the past few years with the current index being 29 per cent lower than its record-high in 2011. The biggest price drops since the peak of the HFPI index have mainly occurred in countries with fast-growing plantations such as Chile, Brazil, Australia and Indonesia. The price declines have entirely been the result of a stronger U.S. dollar, with hardwood log costs in the local currencies going up over 25 per cent in countries such as Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Russia.
Softwood fiber prices fell in a number of countries throughout the world in both local currencies and in U.S. dollar terms in the Q1/16, reports the WRQ (www.woodprices.com) in its latest issue. The downward price trend that started in Europe in early 2014 has continued, although in some markets, prices are starting to level out and the bottom might have been reached. The biggest price declines quarter-over-quarter occurred in Russia, Canada, France and New Zealand.
The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), dropped one per cent in the Q1/16 from the previous quarter, which was its lowest level since the Q1/06. The only region that has experienced an increase in wood fiber costs the past few years is the U.S. South, where average softwood pulplog prices in the Q1/16 were 21 per cent higher than in 2012.