The Global Forest Industry in the 1Q/2017

In June 13, 2017

The Global Forest Industry in the 1Q/2017

Excerpts from the Wood Resource Quarterly (
– 30 Years of Global Wood Price Reporting

Global Timber Markets

  • The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) was up 0.3% quarter-over-quarter in the
    1Q/17. This was only the second time in almost three years that the GSPI increased
    quarter-over-quarter. Over the past year, sawlog prices have generally gone up in
    Latin America, Oceania and North America, while they have declined in Europe.

  • In the 1Q/17, the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) was €83.12/m3, which
    was practically unchanged from the previous quarter. Since the record high in the
    1Q/14, the ESPI-€ has fallen by 8.3% with the biggest declines seen in Central and
    Northern Europe.

Global Pulpwood Prices

  • The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) fell 0.7% quarter-over-quarter in
    the 1Q/17, which was down 3.0% from the 1Q/16. The SPFI has been in decline
    for almost five years and is currently at its lowest level since the 3Q/04. In real
    terms, the SFPI in the 1Q/17 was at its lowest level since WRQ initiated the index
    30 years ago in 1988. The biggest recent declines in softwood fiber costs for the
    pulp sector have occurred in Eastern Canada, Finland, France and Germany.
  • Hardwood wood fiber prices have generally moved up worldwide in the 1Q/17,
    with the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) increasing one percent qo-
    q to $86.99/odmt in the 1Q/17. Prices rose the most in Australia, Brazil, Russia
    and the western US.

Global Pulp Markets

  • Demand for chemical market pulp was up by over six percent during the first three
    months of 2017 as compared to the same quarter in 2016. Chinese demand was up
    the most, 22%, while Western Europe was the only region where consumption was
    down in early 2017.
  • Prices for most pulp grades have increased in early 2017 because of a combination
    of tight supply and continued strong demand.
  • The BHKP price has gone up the most this year, having increased almost $90/ton
    to $740/ton in just four months, while the price rise of NBSK has been a more
    modest $30/ton from January to April.

Global Lumber Markets

  • Globally traded softwood lumber reached an all-time high in 2016. WRI estimates
    that 118 million m3 of lumber was traded last year, or 10 percent more than in 2015.
    Imports to the US account for about one-third of globally traded lumber and have
    almost doubled in five years. China accounted for about 17% of import volumes in
  • Lumber production in North America in 2016 was up six percent from the
    previous year, reaching its highest level since 2007. The biggest rises in production
    were in the US South and Eastern Canada, while the increases in western Canada
    and the western US were more modest. This trend continued during the first two
    months of the year with production on the continent being 1.5% higher than in the
    same period in 2016.
  • Domestic lumber prices in both Finland and Sweden continue to be close to their
    lowest levels in ten years in US dollar terms.
  • Prices for imported softwood lumber to China have been in a steady upward trend
    during 2016 and 2017 with the average import price in March 2017 being 13%
    higher than 18 months earlier.

Global Biomass Markets

  • Wood pellet imports to Asia reached an all-time-high in the 4Q/16 when Japan
    and South Korea together imported 630,000 tons of pellets. Although import
    volumes were down slightly in the 1Q/17, they were still 43% higher than in the
  • Over the past ten years, there has been a clear shift in fiber-sourcing for pellet
    manufacturers in the US South from logs to residues.

Global timber and wood market reporting is included in the 52-page quarterly publication
Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, established in 1988 and with subscribers in
over 30 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices and trade, and
market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ,
please go to

Contact Information
Wood Resources International LLC
Hakan Ekstrom
Seattle, USA

ForestryConnect is a digital media platform for everything forestry. Sign up to our newsletter delivered fortnightly to your inbox.