Ex­port log prices re­cov­er­ing

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

AF­TER A DRA­MATIC DROP IN THE PRICE of ex­port logs at the wharf gate in Au­gust, a mild re­cov­ery ap­pears to be in progress.

Dur­ing Septem­ber, prices for un­pruned saw logs in­creased be­tween $4-to-$6 per JASm3, claw­ing back some of the $12-to$13 drop a month ear­lier.

The good news is that de­mand for logs in China re­mains buoy­ant in spite of the frag­ile in­ter­na­tional trade cli­mate, with PF Olsen re­port­ing that port off-takes re­main in the re­gion of 72,000-80,000 m3 per day. How­ever, to­tal soft­wood logs stocks in China have stayed close to 3.2mil­lion m3, which is still re­garded as high.

PF Olsen’s Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Man­ager, Scott Downs, says in the com­pany’s lat­est newslet­ter: “Most ex­porters are sell­ing A-grade logs in the low US$130’s with very strong buyer re­sis­tance to any­thing over US$134.

“The lower log grades are more dif­fi­cult to sell at the mo­ment. The irony is that AWG prices for KI and KIS in­creased more than the higher grade in Septem­ber, but this is mostly due to some ex­porters re­duc­ing the dif­fer­en­tial they had be­tween the grades.

“There is neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment around pruned logs. The CFR sale price for pruned logs a few months ago was up to US$180 and is now in the mid US$150’s. The ex­porters are not op­ti­mistic for a strong re­cov­ery in the near fu­ture.”

The do­mes­tic mar­ket re­mains steady, track­ing around the same lev­els as last year, al­though tim­ber pro­duc­ers have yet to see the usual Spring surge in sales to the lo­cal con­struc­tion in­dus­try.


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