Timber Trends: The Global Timber Price Decline Of 2023

This content is being republished with the consent of Fisher International and ResourceWise. Read more about Global timber price at ResourceWise. Oct 30, ‘23

In an intriguing turn of events, the worldwide paper trading market has embarked on a rollercoaster ride, with prices experiencing a significant drop of approximately 10% from their 2022 peak. This revelation comes from the Global Paper Prices Index (GPPI), serving as a crucial barometer for the international paper trading landscape. These data insights uncover a narrative of price declines in most regions worldwide, although there are noteworthy exceptions that challenge this prevailing trend.

As we delve into the heart of this sawlog conundrum, we encounter challenges that read like suspenseful chapters in a global forestry novel.

The Pacific sawmill regions, particularly in British Columbia, have been grappling with the impact of shifting market dynamics. Numerous mills have already shuttered their operations, and it’s anticipated that more pulp mills in the region may follow suit.

British Columbia has faced a  series of formidable challenges that have proven insurmountable for many businesses. A pine beetle infestation wrought havoc on BC’s forests, resulting in a significant shortage of harvestable timber. This, in turn, has created an oversupply of mills with insufficient supply to meet their needs, a significant operational challenge.

Furthermore, the rising threat of wildfires has left investors apprehensive about either launching new facilities or sustaining existing ones. Given the record-setting wildfire destruction of 2023, it comes as no surprise that most companies would be grappling with these concerns.

Down in the US South, the sawlog tale takes a  sharp twist, with prices falling by approximately 8% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023. The decline extends beyond sawlogs, impacting processed wood prices as well. A combination of reduced demand in manufacturing, and industrial production, casts a dark cloud over the region.

Across the Atlantic, Northern Europe responded to the political unrest, with Russia cutting off sawlog exports to Finland following the Ukraine invasion. This leads to a 10% surge in sawlog prices, sending shockwaves across the continent. Sweden, adapting to the supply disruption, seeks alternatives in countries like Latvia and Estonia, driving up costs and leaving us with a 60% price hike story.

Then, in a plot twist befitting a blockbuster movie, we venture to Latin America, where Brazil, the world’s sawlog powerhouse, is scripting a  remarkable journey. Sawlog prices in Brazil have surged by a jaw-dropping 200% between the dawn of 2021 and the second quarter of 2023. Brazil’s forestry sector emerges as a  global force, as demand for sawlog products rises, defying the downtrends witnessed in regions like Canada.

As we conclude this gripping sawlog tale, it’s evident that the global sawlog market is in a state of flux, with challenges and opportunities interwoven like plotlines in a captivating novel. Amid this narrative, Coniferous, continues to navigate these twists and turns, ready to seize the opportunities presented by this dynamic market.

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