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Australia's forestry sector harvested record 33 million m3 of logs in 2016-17. Substantial increases in wood costs for pulp mills in Western US and Canada in 2018Q1. Canadian lumber shipments to the US declined in 2018Q1 due to temporary supply shocks in Western Canada. Rising home prices and mortgages rates weaken home affordability.
Domestic and export Douglas-fir Log prices remain flat but strong across the Pacific Northwest. Log exports out of New Zealand pick up after Chinese New Year. North American commodity lumber prices continue to rise on tight supply. Softwood lumber exports from non-Canadian sources into US soar.
Douglas-fir sawlog prices are leveling off across the Pacific Northwest after rising sharply since July. Pine sawtimber stumpage shows modest improvements across the US South. Softwood lumber exports from British Columbia to US fall 20 percent in March amid railway woes. Softwood lumber production in the US has yet to return to pre-recession levels.
Log prices in the US South have stabilized in real terms in 2017H2 after softening since early 2016 due to excess supply in most US South’s markets. Chinese demand for New Zealand softwood logs is predicted to rise in 2018. Global trade of softwood lumber reached a record-high in 2017. Announced increased lumber capacity in the US South at around 1 billion board feet this month.
Northwest US leads timber returns in 2017 among US regions. Russia to increase log export duty, nearly prohibiting log exports by 2021. New Zealand export log prices hit new record driven by strong Chinese demand. North America lumber prices continue to soar.
Softwood sawlog prices continue to soar in the Pacific Northwest, with Douglas-fir prices reaching pre-recession levels. The US South continues to lead as the highest margin sawmill region in North America given its low-cost log structure. Lumber shipments from Canada to the US are on track to decline in 2017 for the first time in five years. Chinese logging ban to boost demand for foreign timber.
Douglas-fir log prices continue to surge in the Pacific Northwest as log supply shortage remains a major challenge. US exports of softwood logs to Canada continue to decline, on track to two-decade low. Commerce levies final countervailing and anti-dumping duties of 20.83 percent on Canadian lumber shipments to the US. New-home sales surge to 10-year high.
Douglas-fir #2 sawlog prices have converged across the West Coast. Australia has tripled its softwood log export volumes between 2012 and 2016. US softwood lumber imports from Canada through September are 8.5 percent lower compared with the same period in 2016. Homeownership rates have inched off of historical lows in 2017 after bottoming out in 2016Q2.
US timberland transactions poised to double over the next five years. The spread between Douglas-fir and whitewood log prices remains relatively narrow as strong demand from China pushes up whitewood prices. New Zealand structural log prices hit a new record high. Sawmill margins in US South rising through 2017 but fell in Brazil and Russia.