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Softwood sawlog prices in Sweden on the rise as demand from sawmills booms

In Central Sweden, state-owned Sveaskog raises the purchase price for softwood sawlogs from 18 January. The reason is continued high demand and good price development for wood products.

According to Sveaskog, the price increase for normal timber is between SEK 30–45 (EUR 3-4.5) per m3 to (cubic meters top measured).

Pay more

”It is gratifying that our timber customers are experiencing good demand and rising prices for their finished products. This means that we have the opportunity to pay more for the timber we buy from forest owners in Central Sweden, which is one of Sveaskog’s core areas for timber purchases,” says Roger Johansson, head of external timber procurement in Sveaskog’s market area South.

Focus on timber

The Swedish economy, which during the corona pandemic almost turned into a new golden age for the sawmill industry, continues to strengthen.

”The sawmills are on high pressure to take advantage of the favorable market situation, and therefore demand is high for both spruce and pine timber. For forest owners, it is therefore time to take the opportunity. The demand for pulpwood is not as strong right now, so the recommendation from us is to focus on timber felling in the near future and take advantage of the good demand and the increased prices, says Roger Johansson.

Unchanged level

The price increase for normal timber includes Bergslagen and southern Norrland. Pulpwood prices are at an unchanged level.

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Parquet market in Europe to remain flat in 2020 despite corona crisis

Based on information obtained from its member companies and national associations, FEP – the European Federation of the Parquet industry – estimates that the overall consumption figures on the European parquet market for the year 2020 are stable.

This evaluation should be seen as a preliminary forecast and is the result of best estimates discussed with member country representatives at the recent FEP Board meeting held online. FEP underlines that this is a first prognosis subject to variations, in anticipation of the complete data to be communicated by FEP next June.

After a year 2019 characterised by a moderate growth, the consumption figures of parquet in Europe remained stable in 2020 despite the pandemic. A flat evolution is forecasted for the year as a whole. As usual, the results show variations from country to country, also reflecting the evolution of the illness and the related governmental measures in the different Member States.

Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, and, to a lesser extent, Spain, have totally, or partially, compensated, during the second half of the year, the bad performance observed in March-April. Still on the positive side, parquet consumption in Germany, the biggest European parquet market, has grown further also driven by renovation.

On the other hand, despite a good summer and a good renovation rate, France and Italy have not been able to offset the loss experienced during the spring lockdown and report declines in parquet consumption.

While there are uncertainties for the future regarding the potential impacts of a third wave, the restart of travels thanks to vaccines and the long-term economic consequences of the pandemic (recession, reduced public spending and decline in new projects), some habits have changed and this crisis also represents an opportunity for the Parquet Industry, which has already well benefitted from the increase of the renovation rate and of its relatively higher use of wood flooring solutions.

It seems that not only the European authorities have now understood the positive role played by wood and wood products to tackle climate change by saving CO2, but the end-consumers as well, bringing nature into their homes!

FEP General Assembly & Parquet Congress 2021

Due to the current circumstances related to the pandemic, the physical FEP’s 65 th General Assembly and 45 th Parquet Congress are postponed to 21 & 22 October 2021 (tbc) in the antic city of Athens, Greece. FEP is already looking forward to welcoming all members, international guests and press representatives at this exclusive and awaited event for the Parquet Industry.

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Gelo Timber starts production at its new sawmill in Wunsiedel, Germany

Gelo Timber starts production at its new sawmill in Wunsiedel, Germany

Gelo Timber starts operation at its new sawmill in Wunsiedel, Germany, after only 11 months of erection time. In future 350,000 solid m3 logs will be cut per year at the 100,000 m2 area. 35 new jobs are created with this investment of about Euro 40 million.

Building a sawmill based on most modern points was the aim from the beginning, the company said. This included also the reduction of material handling to a minimum.

Thus, it was decided not to invest in a petrol operated log handling machine, but using an electrically driven gantry crane type Sennebogen instead. The concept that was developed together with Holtec focusses on savings in fuel and CO2 as well as optimal land use and efficiency.

Holtec supplied the complete log yard mechanization as well as the sawmill infeed for the new Gelo site. In both systems the innovative chainless technology is implemented, feeding up to 40 logs/min.

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Södra increases timber prices

The high demand for timber continues. That is why Södra is now raising the price for spruce timber, pine timber, small timber and logs.

Södra’s sawmill in Götaland continues to produce at a high level and the demand for timber is high. This applies to normal timber of spruce and pine as well as to small timber and logs. Södra will therefore raise timber prices from the 20th of January.

”It is gratifying that the demand for forest products has met the challenges of the past year in such a good way. It has been a long time since the demand for sawmill was as high as it is now. But at the same time, it is difficult to predict how long the development will last,” says Olof Hansson, business area manager for Södra Skog.

The global economy remains uncertain, but benefits from the fact that the covid-19 vaccine is now being rolled out in large parts of the world. Södra’s sawmill produces at high levels and the pace is also expected to maintain during the spring.

”Our production in the forest is now entering a more intensive period. We have good conditions, but we must continue to have a strong focus on the spruce bark beetle infestations we have on member land. This is to minimize the risks of future attacks in 2021,” says Olof Hansson.

The following price adjustments are made and apply from 20 January 2021:

  • Spruce timber price is increased by SEK 30/m³ fub (fixed cubic meters under bark);
  • Pine timber price is increased by SEK 30/m³ fub;
  • Small timber price is increased by SEK 25/m³ fub.

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Russian roundwood price overview in November 2020

The price for softwood sawlogs in Russia have continued to increase during November 2020, despite the downward trend throughout 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The price of hardwood sawlogs has also increased, however it is way lower as compared to November 2019.

As compared to October 2020, the price softwood sawlogs went up slightly, while the price for hardwood sawlogs had a considerable increase of 8%.

Softwood sawlogs could be bought for 2719 RUB/m3 (30.57 EUR/m3) in November 2020, which is a 0.33% increase as compared to November of last year.

Priced at 1545 RUB/m3 (17.37 EUR/m3) in November, hardwood sawlogs are 43% cheaper as compared to the same month of 2019.

Average producer prices of roundwood (at roadside) sold in domestic market on the Federal district level., RUB/m³, under bark, excl. VAT.

Nov-19 Oct-20 Nov-20 Change Oct-19/Oct-2020 Change in % Nov-19/Nov-20
Softwood sawlogs 2,708 RUB 2601 RUB 2719 RUB +0.61% +0.33%
Hardwood sawlogs 2,718 RUB 1427 RUB 1545 RUB +8.26% -43.15%
Softwood pulpwood 1,299 RUB 1271 RUB 1265 RUB -0.47% -2.61%
Hardwood pulpwood 1,080 RUB 973 RUB 942 RUB -3.18% -12.77%

Prices converted in EUR

Nov-19 Oct-20 Nov-20
Softwood sawlogs 30.44 EUR 29.24 EUR 30.57 EUR
Hardwood sawlogs 30.55 EUR 16.04 EUR 17.37 EUR
Softwood pulpwood 14.60 EUR 14.29 EUR 14.22 EUR
Hardwood pulpwood 12.14 EUR 10.94 EUR 10.52 EUR

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Steady recovery in Finland’s softwood lumber exports to Europe

In the third quarter, Finnish exports of softwood lumber to European countries increased by 22% year-on-year to 868 thousand cubic meters.

Among them, the volume of exports to the UK is about 260,000 cubic meters, and that to France is about 107,000 cubic meters. The growth rate is one third higher than the average growth rate. 15% more goods were delivered to German customers than last year, reaching 135,600 cubic meters. The amount of lumber exported to Estonia is about 83,000 cubic meters, which is close to the export volume in 2019.

Exports to non-European countries fell by about 15% to 10.8 million cubic meters, and their share of total exports fell by 8 percentage points to 55%. Exports to North Africa fell by a quarter to 372,500 cubic meters.

The export volume to Egypt and Algeria dropped by nearly one-third to 220,400 cubic meters and 63,700 cubic meters respectively. The volume of softwood sawn timber exported to Morocco increased by 38% from last year to 65,637 cubic meters.

Finland’s exports to Asia also fell by nearly 25% to 408,300 cubic meters. The main reason for the decline was the decline in exports to China and Japan. Among them, exports to China fell by about 27% to 188,300 cubic meters, and exports to Japan fell by about 24% to only 163,000 cubic meters.

Exports to West Asia increased by 20% to 265,170 cubic meters, of which 155,761 cubic meters were exported to Saudi Arabia, an increase of approximately 38%. Although Finland’s lumber exports to the United States have a relatively small base, they still increased by 147% to 24,600 cubic meters.

Softwood lumber exported from Finland to… (in m3 )

Destination Q3/2019 Q3/2020 Change in %
709,843 868,817 22 %
United Kingdom
195,427 260,497 33 %
118,774 136,489 15 %
80,993 107,109 32 %
82,239 83,253 1 %
45,009 50,632 12 %
187,401 230,837 23 %
OTHER European Countries
22,697 23,771 5 %
9,856 8,656 -12 %
4,330 6,298 45 %
5,400 5,494 2 %
739 1,276 73 %
1,383 1,154 -17 %
989 893 -10 %
NORTH Africa
494,408 373,450 -24 %
328,063 221,313 -33 %
47,651 65,651 38 %
98,404 63,677 -35 %
20,290 22,809 12 %
OTHER African Countries
2,460 6,242 154 %
2,137 5,542 159 %
Cape Verde
204 411 101 %
245 %
40 43 8 %
1 %
79 -100 %
NORTH America
10,041 24,690 146 %
9,992 24,689 147 %
49 1 -98 %
53 %
Trinidad and Tobago
53 %
SOUTH America
19 -100 %
220,485 264,504 20 %
Saudi Arabia
112,757 155,761 38 %
96,007 94,529 -2 %
6,554 9,997 53 %
4,297 3,322 -23 %
United Arab Emirates
251 688 174 %
619 207 -67 %
OTHER Asian countries
533,975 407,280 -24 %
257,320 188,285 -27 %
213,791 162,078 -24 %
20,365 24,616 21 %
19,492 12,801 -34 %
South Korea
10,258 3,936 -62 %
12,749 15,564 22 %
OCEANIA and Polar region
6,443 2,233 -65 %
5,748 2,233 -61 %
Western Samoa
605 -100 %
New Zealand
90 -100 %
TOTAL 2,000,371 1,971,040 -1 %

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