Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update
Softwood lumber prices continued to fall in many markets around the world in the 2Q/15 because of weaker demand and high inventories of lumber throughout the distribution chain, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly
Despite reduced demand for lumber in the US, Europe and Asia, lumber production and trade volumes were relatively high during the first half of 2015, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. The supply/demand imbalance resulted in downward price pressure in key markets during the 2Q/15.
Seattle, USA. Softwood lumber prices (in US $) have fallen throughout a majority of the main markets in the world during the 2Q/15 because of weaker demand, ample supply throughout the distribution chain and a strengthening US dollar. The biggest declines have occurred in the US, Canada and the Nordic countries, while the drop in import prices to China and Japan has been more modest.
The following is an excerpt from the Global Lumber Market Update from the most recent issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly:
Lumber production in the US was slightly higher in the 2Q/15 than in the previous quarter. There is much uncertainty going into the fall with both the US housing construction and lumber demand in China losing some steam. The weaker lumber demand pushed prices in both the US and Canada lower during the summer months.
Finland and Sweden increased export volumes during the first five months of 2015 by 1.5% and 4.6%, respectively, as compared to the same period in 2014. Although the good news for lumber producers has been higher export volumes so far in 2015, the bad news has been that the average export price for softwood lumber has declined.
Russian lumber export prices have fallen substantially since last summer. The price decline has been less in wood shipped to China than that exported to Japan, Egypt and countries in the CIS countries, including Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Despite substantially lower export prices, shipments have not seen a substantial increase. Export volumes in the 2Q/15 were less than three percent higher than in the 2Q/14.