Global sawlog prices fell in late 2011
Global sawlog prices fell in late 2011, especially in lumber export-oriented countries such as Western Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. Weakening lumber markets in Asia and Europe reduced demand for sawlogs in many countries late last year. As a result, log prices in a number of the major lumberproducing countries in the world fell during the second half of 2011, according to the market report the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Seattle, USA. Sawlog prices in the 4Q/11 were down both in US dollar terms and in local currencies in most of the 20 regions covered by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) as compared to the previous quarter.
The biggest declines occurred in Western Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand, all countries that have an export-oriented sawmilling sector. Despite the recent price declines, many markets still have close to record high price levels, and are higher than they were in the 4Q/10.
The Global Conifer Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) declined for the second straight quarter to $87.28/m3 in the 4Q. The Index was down six percent from the all-time high in the 2Q/11. The only major region where prices did not change much in late 2011 was in the US South. In fact, over the past three years, the average log prices have been very stable. This region has not only had very stable log prices, but also, the prices are among the lowest in the world.