Arbor Resources Blog Updates
Log imports up 8% in the first half of year - China’s log imports in the first half of 2017 totalled 25.89 million cubic metres valued at US$4.535 billion, a year on year increase of 8.3% in volume and 14% in value. The average price for imported logs was US$175 per cubic metre, a year on year increase of 6%.
Of total log imports, softwood log imports rose 8.6% to 17.51 million cubic metres, accounting for 68% of the national total. The average price for imported softwood logs was US$130 per cubic metre, up 9% on the same period of 2016.
Hardwood log imports grew 7.6% to 8.38 million cubic metres (32% of the national total log imports). The average price for imported hardwood logs in the first half of 2017 was US$269 per cubic metre, up 3% on the same period of 2016. Of total hardwood log imports, tropical log imports were 4.43 million cubic metres valued at US$1.278 billion, up 7% in volume but down 2% in value on the same period of 2016.
New Zealand and Russia main sources of logs - New Zealand was the main log supplier to China in the first half of 2017 accounting for 24% of total log imports.
Imports from New Zealand totalled 6.2 million cubic metres in the first half of 2017, a year on year increase of 10%.
The second ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 5.87 million cubic metres, accounting for about 23% of the national total. In the first half of 2017 a year on year decrease of 1% was recorded for log imports from Russia.
Average prices for imported logs from New Zealand rose 10%, average prices for imported logs from Russia grew 7% in the first half of 2017.
NZ structural log prices advance to 23-year high as mills compete with export demand - New Zealand structural log prices edged up to the highest level in more than two decades as mills compete with the export market to secure supply for the local construction market.
The price for structural S1 logs lifted to $128 a tonne this month, from $127 a tonne last month, and is sitting 11 percent above last year's level and 21 percent higher than the five-year average, according to AgriHQ's monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. The S1 structural log price is at its highest level since April 1994.
Demand for New Zealand logs is strong in China, New Zealand's largest log market, with in-market prices for unpruned logs at their highest level since mid- 2014 and pruned log prices just shy of their last peak in mid-2016, AgriHQ said. China has clamped down on harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs. It imported 2,894,326 tonne of logs in July, the highest level since April 2014, with New Zealand recording the largest lift, making up 37 percent of imports in the month, ahead of the 35 share it typically holds, AgriHQ said.
"As far as the market is concerned, any potential downward movement in values will have to be driven by wharfgate values," said AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick. "Mills are ruing the on-going strength of the export market, forcing them to meet these values or find themselves short on supply."
Some mills have paid premiums above the main contract market to secure supplies from the spot market, Brick said, noting that the current price for structural S1 logs is about $3 a tonne more than the wharfgate price A-grade logs.
Still, Brick said further upward movement in prices is less likely as domestic pruned log supply moved into balance over recent weeks and export interest remains short of the level experienced in early 2016.
He noted residential construction activity is slowing in Canterbury as the bulk of the earthquake rebuild reaches completion, while talk of stagnating house prices has slowed building from property investors.
"Whether this is a temporary state brought about by winter or an indication of a longer-term trend will become more obvious over the next month or two," Brick said. "Other areas have displayed a little more resilience, though it does appear that construction has come back from its peak through Auckland and the central North Island."
Forest products are New Zealand's third-largest commodity export behind dairy and meat products.
BusinessDesk via Scoop News
ncreased demand for softwood lumber worldwide has pushed lumber prices upward, particularly in the US and China during the first half of 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Global Lumber Trade
International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year. Of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, Russia, Finland, Austria and Ukraine increased shipments the most year-over-year during the first half of 2017.
Russia alone, has accounted for 22% of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15% ten years ago, according to the WRQ. Canada’s seven consecutive years of expanding shipments may reach an end this year with export volumes having declined 2.2% during the 1H/17.
Lumber markets – North America
During the first five months of 2017, lumber production in the US South bounced back after having declined during the second half of 2016. The total production output from January through May was 7.3% higher this year as compared to the same period in 2016, according to the WWPA.
In Canada, lumber production was up seven percent in the Eastern provinces during the first five months of 2017, while it fell 2.1% in British Columbia. The decline in BC occurred mostly because of a reduction in lumber exports to China by 10% year-over year.
Lumber prices in both the US and Canada have trended upward for almost two years and reached 13-year highs in July. One exception has been pine lumber prices in the US South, which have fallen the past few months to the lowest level seen in almost a year.
Lumber markets – China
Demand for softwood lumber has picked up in China in 2017 with import volumes during the first seven months being 16% higher than during the same period in 2016. By far, the biggest jump in supply sources has been from Russia, which increased shipments by 24% y-o-y to 7.1 million m3 from January to July.
Russian sawmills also increased their market share from 42% of total Chinese imports in 2014 to 62% in 2017. Despite a substantial decline in the cost of Canadian lumber delivered to China from the record highs in 2013 and 2014, Canadian sawmills have lost market share substantially, dropping from a 40% share in 2013, when it was the largest supplier of softwood lumber to the Chinese market, to a current 22%.
Lumber market – Japan
Japan has increased importation of softwood lumber by two percent during the first half of 2017 as compared to the 1H/16. Total import volume in the 2Q/17 was 1.6 million m3, the highest level in two years. The biggest changes on the supply side this year compared to 2016 has been an increase in imports from Canada and Sweden, and a decline from Russia. In Yen terms, domestic lumber prices have moved up slightly in 2017, while import prices have remained practically unchanged.
Lumber market – Russia
Russian sawmills have increased production by an estimated 14% the past five years, mainly driven by a rise in demand for wood in China. Although domestic softwood lumber demand was up three percent in 2016 from the previous year, domestic consumption has fallen 12 percent the past five years.
Russia has become a major player in the global lumber market the past ten years, but exported a surprisingly small share to Europe or the US. Instead a majority of the Russian lumber has been shipped to China, Japan, Iran and the CIS countries (see detailed export data in the latest WRQ Trade Snapshot). Export prices have trended upward for more than a year, and in June 2017, reached their highest levels since February of 2015.
Source: Wood Resources International