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Global wood fibre price indices moved up in Q3 20: WRQ

January 26, 2021  By P&PC Staff

Wood Resources International has reported global wood fibre price indices moved up in Q3 2020, mainly driven by a weaker U.S. dollar.

In the third quarter of 2020, the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) was up by 1.6 per cent to $81.17/odmt, following a 16-year low in the previous quarter.

The first quarter-over-quarter increase in almost two years was mainly driven by a weakening of the U.S. dollar against currencies in all WRQ countries except Russia.


Currencies in Europe and Oceania strengthened between five to 10 per cent from Q2 2020 to Q3 2020.

In the Nordic countries, hardwood prices in Q3 ’20 jumped seven per cent quarter-over-quarter (in U.S. dollars) and were close to their highest levels in five years.

Other countries that have seen price increases include Canada, Chile, France and Germany.

Comparing the wood fibre costs for the largest hardwood pulp producers worldwide shows that Japan, China, Finland, Australia and Spain (in ranking order) had the highest hardwood fibre costs during this quarter.

The high fibre costs in Japan and China are mainly due to their pulp industry’s reliance on imported wood chips.

Although import chip prices have declined by eight per cent in Japan and 20 per cent in China the past year, the wood costs they face are still substantially higher than in any other country in the world.

Softwood fibre costs have also gone up for the global pulp industry in Q3 ’20 predominantly in the Nordic countries, France, Australia and New Zealand.

However, there were a few exceptions, most notably in the Western US and Germany, where softwood chip prices fell by 16 per cent and per cent from the Q2 ’20, respectively.

The price decline was mainly due to oversupply of residual chips from sawmills running at high operating rates.

The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 1.4 per cent quarter-over-quarter in Q3 2020, the first increase in almost two years.

The rise was mainly due to the weakening U.S. dollar. In fact, in the local currencies, softwood chips and pulplog prices fell in most markets in the Q3 ’20, especially in Europe.

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.

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