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Douglas-fir log prices decline to 2.5-year low in the Columbia River region. Global softwood lumber trade fell seven percent in 2018. US population growth hit historic lows, below 0.8 percent since the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Existing home sales make record jump in February.
China’s softwood log imports increased by nine percent in 2018 year-over-year. Canadian softwood lumber exports soften in 2018, shipments to the US are expected to decline for the second year in a row after peaking in 2016. 2018 was the most volatile year for North American lumber prices in over 15 years. Growth in US household formations remains at historic lows.
British Columbia softwood log exports decline in 2018, on track to seven-year low. US lumber duties and higher log costs in British Columbia forced Canadian producers to idle mills in 2018Q4. Pulpwood prices trend upward in the US South on the back of low inventory levels in mills. Despite higher financing costs, US homeownership is increasing.
Declining lumber prices drag log prices down across the Pacific Northwest. Softwood lumber imports from Europe to the US on upswing in recent years. Wood fiber costs for the pulp industry have trended upward in most North America regions in 2017-18. All major forest companies in British Columbia cut production in 2018Q4.
British Columbia log exports decline by 16 percent in the first seven months of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017. Pine sawtimber prices in the US South showed modest improvements in 2018Q3. Trade growth between US and China has decelerated in 2018H1 compared with the same period in 2017. New Zealand export log market hurt by US trade war with China.
Retaliatory tariffs announced by the Chinese government in August target an array of softwood lumber, logs, and panels. Domestic and export log prices continue to move together in the Lower Columbia River region. Lumber production in Eastern Canada approaches capacity. Volume of US plywood imports on record pace.
Strong Chinese demand for North American sawlogs in 2018H1. Douglas-fir log prices correct downwards across the Pacific Northwest. North American lumber prices continue to decline from historic highs. 2018Q2 home affordability at lowest level in 10 years.
Softwood log imports to China off to a strong start in 2018 after reaching a record high volume in 2017. Australian commercial forestry plantation harvests at record levels. North American lumber prices correcting downwards. Home ownership rate ticks up, reaching 4-year high in 2018Q2.
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.