Wood Fiber Costs for Pulp Mills Fell in North America and Latin
America in 4Q 2012
Lower pulp prices during last summer and an increased supply of sawmill chips put
downward pressure on pulpwood prices in North America and Latin America in the
4Q/12. The biggest declines occurred in
Western US, British Columbia and Brazil.
March 7, 2013 - Wood fiber prices trended downward in the local currencies in many of the
key pulp-producing countries of the world in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the report Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).
However, as a result of
the weakening US dollar, wood fiber prices actually increased in US dollar terms in a
number countries and the Softwood Wood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up slightly
(+0.1%) in the 4Q/12 to $100.13/odmt. The biggest increases from the 3Q to the 4Q
occurred in Eastern Canada, Finland, France and New Zealand, WRQ added.
The price declines in the local currencies were mainly the result of an increased supply of
softwood fiber in regions with extensive lumber production. In the US Northwest, chip
prices fell as much as 27 percent during 2012 and pulp mills in the region had some of
the lowest softwood fiber costs in the world in the 4Q/12.
Additional volumes of residual chips from increased lumber production, reductions in
pulp production and pulpmill outages, and large supplies of pulplogs were all factors that
contributed to the dramatic turnaround in fiber costs during 2012. A similar trend was
seen in Western Canada, where prices in the 4Q/12 were down 22 percent from late 2011,
reaching their lowest levels in three years.
Hardwood fiber price movements were mixed, with hardwood pulplog prices generally
trending downward in many of the key hardwood pulp-producing regions in both local
currencies and in US dollar terms. This resulted in a decline in the Hardwood Wood
Fiber Price Index (HFPI) to US$104.80/odmt in the 4Q/12. This was down 1.5 percent
from the previous quarter and 7.8 percent from the 4Q/11.
The biggest decline in hardwood fiber prices occurred in Brazil where Eucalyptus log
prices have fallen continuously for over a year from early 2011, when they were at their
all-time highs. In the 4Q/12, prices in US dollar terms were back down to same levels as
where they were in early 2009. Few regions in the world currently have lower hardwood
costs than Brazil.
Wood Resource Quarterly is published by Wood Resources International LLC. For further information visit: www.woodprices.com
SOURCE: Wood Resources International LLC