Australian structural softwood product prices stable
URS has released the December quarter 2010 edition of the Australian Timber Market Survey(TMS) report. The TMS reports on domestic softwood and hardwood timber product price movements collected through an extensive survey of timber purchase prices from timber wholesalers and merchants in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.Timber product price movements for softwood are reported every quarter and hardwood timber product price movements are reported every six months.
The latest results show that between September and December 2010, prices for major softwood structural products MGP10 and MGP12 remained relatively stable. At the state level, price movement results for key MGP10 and MGP12 products were mixed across New South Wales and Queensland, but broadly decreased in Victoria. There were slight increases in the price of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and I-joist/I-beam engineered wood products, following a two year downward price trend. The prices for 12mm and 17mm plywood continued to fall to be around 5% lower over the 12 months to December 2010.
The TMS results showed prices for the hardwood structural timber products, F17 and F27, rose slightly by 0.8% and 1.3%, respectively, over the six months to December 2010. Over the same time period, Tasmanian Oak and Blackbutt select grade flooring products remained stable. Select grade Victorian Ash sawn and dressed boards experienced a second period of price increases, to be around 5% higher over the 12 months to December 2010.
The TMS report notes that Australian dwelling approvals slightly increased over the December quarter 2010, rising by 1.75%. However, over the same time period, the value of finance approvals for dwelling construction experienced a significant fall of around 25%, which could indicate a slowdown in housing construction in the near future.
Australian imports of softwood sawn timber remained steady over the December quarter 2010 at around 163,000 m³. For a third consecutive quarter, European countries accounted for around 50% of Australia’s softwood sawn timber import volume. Plywood and veneer imports into Australia fell by 19% over the December quarter 2010, following a peak of approximately 80,000 m³ in the September quarter. Full details on the report can be found here.
Source: URS Forestry