Global lumber demand est. to jump 13.6% in 2016

The world’s appetite for lumber is likely to jump by as much as 13.6% in 2016, according to Wood Resources International (WRI).

Although the World Trade Organization (WTO) in September revised its earlier forecast to 1.7%, the slowest pace since the 2009 global financial crisis, the figure does not reflect the global softwood trade—global demand for lumber increased in 2015 (+10.2%) and 2016.

According to WRI, the slow and

Steady improvements in the U.S. housing market in 2016 have resulted in higher demand for domestic and imported wood products. China has also posed strong growth with import volumes for 2Q and 3Q/16 reaching their highest level on record. 

Russian export prices have been fairly stable so far this year with only slight increases during the fall. But prices continue to be at their lowest levels in over 10 years due to the weak Russian Ruble. 

Global saw logs

Global saw logs prices fell again in the 3Q/16 after a temporary increase in 2Q/16, following an almost two year-long downward trend. The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) has fallen by 14.3% in two years and currently is almost 12% below the 10-year average.

In 3Q/16, the European Sawlog Price Index (ESPI-€) fell by 0.5% from the previous quarter to €83.40/m3. The Index has trended downward for the past few years and in 2016 was at its lowest level since 2010. Much of the recent decline has been the result of reduced demand for lumber in some markets and generally lower lumber prices in both domestic and export markets.


Source: Wood Resources Quarterly/ Image: Russian softwood logs