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Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index increased 44 percent: WRI

October 23, 2023  By Wood Resources International, a ResourceWise Company

Global pulp prices have fallen steadily since late 2022 when they reached record highs. The most significant decline has been for hardwood pulp, traded at a substantial discount to softwood pulp. Global pulp inventories were down during the summer, and there were signs that the market tightened, and pulp producers were starting to see opportunities to move prices upward in the fourth quarter of 2023 following almost 12 months of declining pulp prices.

Despite declines in pulp prices over the past year, wood fibre costs have not experienced the same downward trend. On the contrary, tighter residual supply resulting from lower lumber production has kept wood chip prices high in many markets.

As reported by WoodMarket Prices, softwood chip and pulp log prices in the 2Q2023 were higher than in the 2Q/22 in most regions of North America and Europe. The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) reached its second-highest value since it was established in 1988.


The index comprising wood fiber prices from 17 countries worldwide increased about 12 percent in one year to over $112/BDMT in the 2Q/23 (see chart).

The most significant y-o-y increases have occurred in Canada, the Nordic countries, Central Europe, and Brazil.

The Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) has also increased substantially in the past few years to reach a ten-year high of about $113/BDMT (bone dry metric ton) in the early summer of 2023 – up 44 percent from 2020 to 2023. The HFPI index is higher than the SFPI index for the first time in four years.

The primary driver of this rapid rise has been substantially higher domestic hardwood pulp log prices in the Nordic countries, France, Germany, and Latin America. The increases in US dollar terms have ranged between 30 and 130 percent in the past three years.

Hardwood chip import prices in China and Japan have increased since 2020 but relatively less than in other major global markets, up 20 percent in China and only one percent in Japan. Despite the modest recent rise in the price of wood fibre in Japan, the country’s pulp mills still have some of the highest fibre costs in the world.

Wood Resource Quarterly has been digitized and is now available as an interactive online business intelligence platform, WoodMarket Prices (WMP). The pricing data service, established in 1988, has subscribers in over 30 countries. The WMP tracks prices for sawlog, pulpwood, lumber & pellets and reports on trade and wood market developments in most key regions worldwide. For more insights on the WMP platform, a unique and valuable tool for every organization that requires updates on the latest developments of global forest products markets, please go to Global Wood Prices.

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