Costs for sawlogs declined in most major regions around the world in the first half of 2019. However, lumber prices have fallen faster in key markets resulting in lower profits for sawmills, particularly in British Columbia, the US South and Eastern Russia, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly.
Many pellet manufacturers in North America have had to increase the usage of logs for their feedstock in 2019 because of reduced availability of lower-cost sawmill residues. This has resulted in higher total wood fiber costs and increases in the pellet feedstock price indices for both Canada and the US in the 1H/19, according to NAWFR.
Wood raw-material costs for many lumber producers in Europe and North America have fallen over the past year both because of increased timber harvests and reduced log demand, particularly in North America and Asia. Some of the biggest price changes in the 1H/19 have been seen in the Western US, Central Europe and New Zealand.
Tight supply of hardwood fiber in the Pacific Rim have pushed prices for Latin American hardwood chips upward during the first half of 2019, reports the WRQ. However, a decline in chip consumption in China is expected to occur in the second half of the year, which would likely end the most recent price rally that started in mid-2018.