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SAWLOG PRICE FALL

To be blunt it has not been a good 2 years for the price of sawlogs. Not just on a regional or country wide analyses but on a global one. North America had what could be described as a modest fall but overall during the period Europe had the ‘big hit.’ If we zoom in a little more, then the worsted effected area was Central Europe. The second largest overall fall was in Latin America and Oceania.

A quarter by quarter study shows us that Poland, Sweden, Eastern Canada and British Colombia fared worse in other words a steady decline.

We like to finish on some good news and that is that New Zealand, Brazil, Russia and Norway have seen prices rise, so while this doesn’t alter the global picture of falling prices perhaps it heralds the buds of hope.

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FRENCH HARDWOOD RESULTS

There are highs and lows in the latest figures and break downs not only concerning species but also raw and finished product. To give you a basic overall picture we will divide into species which will include logs and associated ‘products’.

OAK. On the whole prices for medium to large diameter logs have risen albeit by a small amount. For smaller diameter and lower grades the price has reduced, primarily to help struggling saw mills.

ASH. Prices in general have held which surprised industry insiders who expected a fall due to cuts due to infection. In an isolated case one region’s prices rose a little.

BEECH. Not a good year. The French market for this lovely wood is shrinking. The problem is the closure of a number of furniture manufactures along with falling interest in panelling and minimal demand for firewood. Exports are still just about holding their head above water.

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ITALY LOVES TROPICAL

It seems a little strange at this time of year to have another story regarding tropical timber. This is the season of good news and so this piece seems apt.
The Italian economy is not at its most buoyant at the moment. Domestic demand is low with manufacturers facing high levels of competition. For Italy’s importers the way to inject new interest into wood both at home and abroad is to offer tropical timber and plywood. Imports during 2016 have risen healthily which proves that there is a market out there. Perhaps people were uninspired by temperate hardwoods and needed a different more contempary product. Well done Italy’s importers for offering the public an exciting product.

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2016: EU TROPICAL TIMBER FLUCUATES

At the beginning of 2016, by which we mean January thorough to May, the amount of imported tropical timber show a rapid ascension for the previous years data. However, in the following up to and including September began a slow decline. However the landed value of tropical imports during the first nine months of the year rose by a small but significant amount.

Sawn timber, veneers, Joinery, plywood, logs, decking, mouldings, charcoal, marquetry and flooring, in other words, all tropical wood imports value wise has risen. Quantity wise, as we have said, things have slowed due to a combined effect of the weakened Euro – Dollar rate and the weakened Pound – Dollar.

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GOOD NEWS FOR BRAZIL

You might recall that in the past we have run stories about how Brazil was trying to boost its exports. Well the good news is that the time and effort put in by the industry and both the national and regional governments seems to be starting to paying off. There are areas of success and some which require improvement.
The winners are pine sawn wood, and tropical plywood. Both rose not only in export volumes but also in export value. Tropical plywood’s sharp rise was a welcome surprise.
The areas which were a little disappointing were tropical sawn wood, which fell in both volume and value. Paper and pulp were also sluggish.

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GOOD NEWS FOR BRAZIL

You might recall that in the past we have run stories about how Brazil was trying to boost its exports. Well the good news is that the time and effort put in by the industry and both the national and regional governments seems to be starting to paying off. There are areas of success and some which require improvement.
The winners are pine sawn wood, and tropical plywood. Both rose not only in export volumes but also in export value. Tropical plywood’s sharp rise was a welcome surprise.
The areas which were a little disappointing were tropical sawn wood, which fell in both volume and value. Paper and pulp were also sluggish.

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FINLAND: WOOD PRODUCT UPDATE

So far 2016 has been a mixed bag for the Finnish wood industry. Let’s start with soft wood sawn timber pulp and paperboard. For the first half of 2016 these products have done well in relation to production although profits for softwood sawn timber fell.
The only wood product that has had a bad year is paper, which according to the official jargon ‘continued to decline’ That is a shame as it spoils Finland’s perfect score.

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BRAZIL TO RESTORE FORESTS

Brazil has set its self a challenging eco project/ commitment to be completed by 2030. The plan is to restore 12 million hectares of forest that has been ‘lost.’ If the project as a whole was not challenging enough there is the little question of funding as well as the choice of trees to inhabit the new forest. Native or exotic? Not only will it be important that the government sticks to not only the plan but also the schedule but that the rural communities who will be in the forefront of this reforestation are given support and guidance.

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BREXIT AND THE EU FURNITURE MARKET

The uk is the largest importer of wooden furniture sourced from non EU countries. The majority of this imported furniture is tropical wood and comes from countries such as Brazil and Indonesia. This trade continues to grow albeit slowly whereas imports from the EU and China have fallen. This fall in EU imports maybe the reason why some might think that the UK is already turning its back on its Europen suppliers. However imports were falling prior to the Brexit vote compared to 2015. Should Britain fail to maintain a foothold in the European single market then the door would truly open for an expansion of imported furniture from ‘Tropical’countries and that would perhaps be a body blow to European manufactures. If though Britain manages to negotiate a post Brexit trade deal then one would expect the toing and froing of furniture from the EU to remain the same, depending on current taste and style.

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RUSSIAN ROUNDWOOD REVIVAL

So far 2016 has been a good year for Russian round wood exports. Figures for the period January to September show increased levels of exports and to add to this revival the monetary value also rose.

It is always welcome news that exports and their value rise. On a cautious note it should be pointed out that the increase was below 5% ,however any increase in sales is more than welcome and should be cause for optimism.

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