Russia overtakes Canada as the world’s largest exporter of softwood lumber

Russia overtook Canada to become the world’s largest softwood lumber exporter in 2019 and is on track to ship nearly 32 million cubic meters of lumber this year, accounting for 23% of the world’s timber. work marketed worldwide, according to the latest extracts from the Wood Resource Quarterly.

Lumber production fell in the United States and Canada in 2019 due to disappointing activity in the U.S. real estate market and weak demand for North American lumber in overseas markets. sea.

Prices for lumber imports to China have fallen for three consecutive quarters and in 3Q / 19 they hit their lowest level since 2016.

German softwood lumber exports are expected to peak in 10 years in 2019. The largest increases in shipments have been to China, the United States, the United Kingdom and India.

The gross margins of lumber producers in Finland, as reported in the WRQ, fell faster than those of their Swedish competitors in 2018 and 2019.

World timber markets

A plentiful supply of logs coupled with a drop in demand pushed sawlog prices down in most of the world’s major markets in 3Q / 19. The biggest price drops were in central Europe, where storm-damaged logs flooded the market.

With sawlog prices falling around the world, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) was hit in 3Q / 19 and recorded its third largest decline in 10 years.

The European sawlog price index (ESPI), which has been falling steadily for two years, fell another 5% in 3Q / 19, as reported in the latest issue of WRQ.

World pulpwood prices

Prices for pulp logs and softwood chips either remained unchanged or fell to 3Q / 19 from the previous year. The biggest price drops were seen in Austria, Germany and Sweden. The only region with higher prices in 3Q / 19 was Western Canada, where pulp log prices increased 10 percent from the previous quarter. The Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) fell 2.2 percent quarter on quarter in 3Q / 19 and hit its lowest level in two years.

The Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) has been fairly stable over the past two years. In 3Q / 19, HFPI was down slightly from the previous quarter, but was up about 1% from 3Q / 18.

World pulp markets

Pulp prices continued their decline that began in 4Q / 18. In October, the price of NBSK in Europe ranged from $ 820 to $ 850 / tonne, compared to $ 1,300 / tonne in October last year. With pulp stocks falling to levels similar to last year, resistance to further price cuts is growing.

Global biomass markets

The European Pellet Price Index (EPPI), a weighted import price of industrial pellets in Europe, has trended upward over the past two years to reach over € 160 / tonne in 3Q / 19.

North America exported 2.5 million tonnes of 3Q / 19 pellets, an increase of 6% over 3T / 18. The nearly 1.8 million tonnes exported from the United States to Europe in 3Q / 19 was the highest volume on record.

Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). This 56-page report, compiled in 1988 and with subscribers in over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices around the world. The WRQ also reports on developments in the timber trade and market in most key regions of the world. For more information on the latest trends in the international forest products market, please visit

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