Wood Fiber Supply and Demand in the Baltic Rim

Posted by Tracy Leslie

The latest data from Eurostat indicates that the EU is on target to meet its renewable energy target of 20 percent by 2020. In 2014, with six years left to reach the targets, 16 percent of the region’s energy was derived from renewable sources. The Baltic Rim countries have been some of the most successful, with Sweden (49 percent), Finland (38 percent), Estonia (25 percent) and Lithuania (23 percent) already exceeding their shares. Denmark (30 percent), Latvia (40 percent), Poland (15 percent) and Germany (18 percent) are on trajectory to meet their targets, though they have yet to do so.

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Topics: wood fiber supply, Baltic States Forest Industry, Baltic Rim Fiber Benchmark, baltic rim

US South Stumpage Market Trends: 1H2016 Results and Outlook

Posted by Joe Clark

The first half of 2016 is now in the books. As we approach the latter half of the summer, it’s a good time to examine how stumpage prices across the US South have performed over the last six months and project how 2H2016 will develop. Pine stumpage prices across the South gained ground during the 1H2016 time period when compared to 2H2015 numbers, while hardwood prices slid. Pine pulpwood and pine chip-n-saw saw prices increased 2.0 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, while pine sawtimber surged +4.3 percent to $27.03/ton during the first half of this year. Hardwood pulpwood fell, but only slightly (>1 percent) during this six-month period, while hardwood sawtimber tumbled -3.8 percent to $20.75/ton.

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Topics: stumpage market trends, Stumpage Prices, southern yellow pine prices

US Housing Starts, Global Economic Uncertainty Increase in June

Posted by John Greene

Housing starts rebounded in June, mirroring the continued strong, if unexpected, performance of US markets; the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at an all-time high earlier this week. Oddly enough, this strong performance seems to have politicians and pundits alike scratching their heads. From the Federal Reserve, to European Commission (EU) officials and all the talking heads in between, global economic “uncertainty” seems to be all anyone can talk about. Despite the recent Brexit vote and the upcoming US presidential election, US markets are, incomprehensibly, responding positively to economic uncertainty on a global scale.

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Topics: housing market update, housing starts, housing lot availability

Softwood Lumber Agreement Deadline Looms: US, Canada Working on New Deal

Posted by John Greene

US housing starts have pretty much maintained a flat pace since the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) last October. All things considered, this has been a good thing for both US and Canadian lumber manufacturers, as both sides are still operating within the one-year period when their respective governments are prohibited from taking unilateral action. As is often the case with such complex agreements, a period of doing nothing is preferable to doing the wrong thing as a reactionary measure. That said, we are quickly coming to the end of the one-year “cooling off” period, which has prompted leaders from both nations to address the issue.

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Topics: southern pine lumber, softwood lumber agreement, British Columbia Forest Industry

Forest Industry Performance: June 2016

Posted by Joe Clark

Forest industry performance in May and June was reported by both the US government and the Institute for Supply Management.

Total industrial production (IP) decreased 0.4 percent in May, erasing most of April’s 0.6 percent gain. Manufacturing output moved down 0.4 percent, led by motor vehicles and parts; Wood Products also contributed with a 1.3 percent drop. Total IP in May was 1.4 percent below its year-earlier level; at nine months of YoY decreases, this is the longest streak in modern US history of IP weakness outside of a confirmed recession.

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Topics: forest industry news, forest industry performance

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