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Pulp prices mostly up in Q4 2018 aside from exports to China

April 22, 2019  By Wood Resources International LLC

April 22, 2019 – Wood Resource Quarterly has released highlights from its Q4 2018 market report, citing that in early 2018, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) reached $80.73/m3, its highest level since 2014.

Sawlog prices generally increased in local currencies during 2018, but with a stronger US dollar, the dollar-denominated GSPI index fell by about five per cent during the year. Mixed price movements in Europe resulted in fairly small changes in the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€). In the 4Q/18, the index was up 1.8 per cent quarter-over-quarter, but was practically unchanged from the 4Q/17.

Prices for softwood pulplogs and softwood chips rose in most markets worldwide in the 4Q/18. The biggest increases occurred in Chile, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia, while prices fell the most in France, Japan and Germany. Wood Resources International’s Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) moved up by 0.5 per cent from the 3Q/18 to the 4Q/18.

The Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) increased 1.9 per cent quarter-over-quarter to in the 4Q/18, driven mainly by higher costs for hardwood pulplogs in the U.S. South, Brazil and Indonesia. Hardwood fibre prices fell in Europe in both the local currencies and in U.S. dollars.

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Global softwood lumber trade fell 7% in 2018; Canadian exports down 5%

NBSK and HBKP prices fell in all major regions in the 4Q/18 and early 2019. The biggest price declines were in pulp destined for China. The NBSK price in Europe has fallen from a record high of $1,300/ton in October last year to $1,180/ton in early 2019.

In the biomass sector, global trade of wood pellets jumped almost 18 per cent year-over-year in 2018 when a new record of over 20 million tons was shipped. Pellet prices in Austria and Germany reached their highest prices in five years in the 1Q/19.

Global lumber, sawlog and pulpwood market reporting is included in the 56-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, which was established in 1988 and has subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, wood chip, lumber and pellet prices, trade and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, go to www.WoodPrices.com.

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