Hardwood Fiber Costs For the Global Pulp Industry Increased Over 15%
Wood fiber costs for pulp mills worldwide increased for the fourth consecutive quarter in
the 4Q/09. During 2009, the Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) moved up
15.4%, while the Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 10.5%,
Feb. 11, 2010 - Pulp markets have been remarkably strong during 2009 despite the global financial crisis, says Hakan Ekstrom of Wood Resources International (WRI).
According to WRI's latest report, Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ), from April through December, the softwood market
pulp price (NBSK) jumped 45%. Strong pulp markets and a tight wood fiber supply
pushed wood fiber costs upward last year.
The WRQ Global Wood Fiber Price Indices (both softwood and hardwood) have gone up
for four consecutive quarters. The Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) reached
US$106.19/odmt in the 4Q, which was up 7% from the previous quarter. The HFPI
increased 15.4% during 2009, which was the third highest level since the launching of the
Index in 1988.
The biggest price increases in US dollar terms during the 4Q occurred in Germany,
Finland, Spain and Australia. Those four countries also had the highest delivered wood
costs of all countries tracked by the Wood Resource Quarterly. Prices in both Spain and
Australia were close to their all-time highs, WRQ said.
The Global Average Wood Fiber Price Index is a weighted average of delivered wood
fiber prices for the pulp industry in 17 regions tracked by WRQ. 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 Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) also went up last quarter, WRQ said.
increased 5.6% to US$98.34/odmt mainly as a result of higher wood fiber costs in
Sweden, Finland, the US, Spain and Chile. The SFPI is now US$7.85/odmt lower than
HFPI, which is the biggest difference ever recorded. Just three years ago the
circumstances were reversed; the SFPI being more than $10/odmt higher than the HFPI.
Historically, softwood fiber costs have always been higher than hardwood fiber costs, but
the year of 2009 was a trend breaker.
Higher costs for Eucalyptus logs, reduced fiber consumption in regions with high
softwood fiber costs, and exchange rate adjustments were all factors that transformed the
global wood fiber market in 2009, the report stated.
SOURCE: Wood Resources International