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Global pulp, pulpwood markets up in Q3 2020: WRQ


January 4, 2021
By Wood Resources International LLC

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Photo: Annex Business Media

Wood Resources International says pulp and pulpwood markets were trending upward in Q3 2020 in its quarterly review of the global forest industry.

Global pulpwood markets

In Q3 ’20, the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) was up by 1.6 per cent quarter-over-quarter, following a 16-year low in the previous quarter.

The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 1.4 per cent quarter-over-quarter to $86.92/odmt in Q3 ’20. The index’s increase was the first rise in almost two years and was mainly due to the weaker U.S. dollar.

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Global pulp markets

Global trade of pulp has gone up this year despite the financial crisis, with Chinese importation reaching an all-time high.

Pulp prices started to move upward early in the fourth quarter of 2020 following a year of minimal price adjustments.

Global timber markets

Strong lumber sales and a weakening U.S. dollar moved sawlog prices upward in many markets worldwide in Q3 2020. The most significant price increases occurred in the western U.S., Northern and Eastern Europe and Oceania.

Following a two-year decline, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) increased in Q3 ’20 by 2.9 per cent from the previous quarter.

The European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) fell by 1.4 per cent quarter-over-quarter to €70.15/m3 in Q3 ’20. The index has been in steady decline since 2018, when it reached a five-year high.

Global lumber markets

U.S. lumber prices reached record highs in the fall, with prices doubling from April to September.

Canadian lumber exports declined during the first nine months compared to 2019.

High domestic demand for lumber in the U.S. and a trade dispute with China reduced U.S. softwood exports throughout 2019 and 2020.

Lumber imports to China have been down 10 per cent this year, with the two largest supplying countries, Russia and Canada, losing market shares.

Predominantly European suppliers, including Ukraine, Sweden, Germany, Finland and Belarus, increased their presence in China in 2020.

The largest lumber importer in Europe, the United Kingdom, imported 22 per cent less lumber in the first nine months this year compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

Global biomass markets

Both Canada and the U.S. are on track to reach record high shipments of wood pellets in 2020. Europe is the key destination, with the Netherlands becoming a new important destination as well.

Residential pellet prices in Central Europe were down five to nine per cent from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020.

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.