Global sawlog price changes were mixed in 1Q22 with quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increases in North America and Eastern Europe, while prices declined in Central and Northern Europe, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. While the price changes from the 4Q2021 to 1Q22 have only been modest, the current price levels are much higher than they were a year ago.
For example, prices from 1Q21 to 1Q22 surged the most in British Columbia (+58%), Central Europe (+33%), and the Baltic States (+20%). Even in the US South, where log prices generally don’t move much, sawlogs costs have increased by almost 10% in 12 months.
The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) fell slightly in 1Q22 but was still 11% higher than in 1Q21 and the second highest moment in time in over ten years (see chart). On the other hand, the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI) increased slightly QoQ and reached a new all-time high of €103.54/m3, 27% higher than just a year ago.
Global trade of softwood logs slowed substantially in early 2022 because of reduced house construction and remodeling activities in Europe, North America, and Asia. As a result, worldwide trade fell over 20% year-over-year (YoY), with the most significant declines occurring in imports to China (-42%), India (-32%), South Korea (-14%), and Austria (-14%).
Exporting countries that reduced shipments the most during the first quarter of 2022 were Russia, New Zealand, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Practically no softwood logs were exported from Russia in 2022, a result of the Russian log export ban implemented on January 1, 2022, and the trade sanctions because of the Ukrainian war. The current almost non-existent trade flow marks a sharp deviation from former quarterly shipments, ranging between 1-2 million m3 during the past few years. Exports from New Zealand, the world’s largest log exporter, fell to 4.6 million m3 in 1Q22, the lowest level in two years.
Are you interested in worldwide wood products market information? The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) is a 70-page report established in 1988 with subscribers in over 30 countries. The publication tracks prices for sawlog, pulpwood, lumber & pellets and reports on trade and wood market developments in most key regions worldwide. For more insights on the latest international forest product market trends, please go to www.WoodPrices.com