Wood costs for the pulp industry have been falling steadily worldwide for almost five years with hardwood fiber prices declining the most, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) fell by 0.6% in the 1Q/16 mainly because of lower prices for hardwood pulplogs in Russia, Eastern Canada, France and Germany. The HFPI has been on a consistent decline the past few years with the current index being 29% lower than its record-high in 2011. The biggest price drops since the peak of the HFPI index have mainly occurred in countries with fast-growing plantations such as Chile, Brazil, Australia and Indonesia. The price declines have entirely been the result of a stronger US dollar, with hardwood log costs in the local currencies going up over 25% in countries such as Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Russia.
The Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI), dropped one percent in the 1Q/16 from the previous quarter, which was its lowest level since the 1Q/06. The only region that has experienced an increase in wood fiber costs the past few years is the US South, where average softwood pulplog prices in the 1Q/16 were 21% higher than in 2012.
Note. The Global Wood Fiber Price Index is a weighted average of delivered wood fiber prices for the pulp industry in all regions tracked by the publication Wood Resource Quarterly. These regions together account for 85-90% of the world’s wood-based pulp production capacity. The price is based on current quarter average prices, and country/regional wood fiber consumption data. The global average price for softwood and hardwood is calculated in nominal US$ per oven-dried metric ton (odmt) of wood fiber.
Wood Resources International LLC (WRI), an internationally recognized forest industry-consulting firm established in 1987, publishes two quarterly timber price reports and have subscribers in over 30 countries. The Wood Resource Quarterly, established in 1988, is a 52-page market report and includes sawlog prices, pulpwood and wood chip price and market commentary to developments in global timber, biomass and forest industry. The other report, the North Americam Wood Fiber Review, tracks prices of sawlogs, pulpwood, wood chips and biomass in most regions of Canada and the US.