An overview of the global forest industry in 2018’s second quarter

On the global timber market, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) fell 1.4 per cent in 2Q/18. This was the first quarter-on-quarter decline since the fourth quarter of 2016. Sawlog prices fell all over the world in US dollar terms except for in North America, where prices in 2Q/18 went up 3.3 per cent from the previous quarter, and up a staggering 14.5 per cent from 2017’s correlating second quarter.

The European Sawlog Price Index(ESPI-€), which dropped slightly in the 2Q/18, maintained it stability in 2017 and 2018, moving between €85 (US$98) per m³ and €86 (US$99) per m³.

Around the world, according to Wood Resource Quarterly, lumber tradeslowly went up again in early 2018, hinting that this may be another year with record high trade of lumber. Six of the ten largest lumber exporting countries in the world have increased their shipments in 2018.

Lumber prices in the United States (U.S.)have experienced a roller coaster ride over the past year, with sharp rises during the second half of 2017 and early 2018, followed by plunging prices during 2018’s summer months.

Lumber exports from Finlandwent up 8.7 per cent between 2017 from 2016, but fell 3.5 per cent over the first four months of 2018 as compared to the same correlated period in 2017.

Russia has also supplied Chinawith record volumes of softwood lumber in the second quarter of 2018, while imports from the U.S. and Europe went down from the first quarter of 2018.

Softwood lumber import volumes to Japanrose 6.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter, reaching almost 1.6 million m³ in 2Q/18. This was the second highest quarterly import volume in four years, according to Wood Resource Quarterly.

In 2018’s second quarter, profits for sawmills in North Americahit their highest levels since 2005.

In Europe, the gross margins in early 2018 were close to the highest they have been at in four years in the Nordic countries, while in other parts of the continent, they reached levels not seen in over a decade.