Softwood log inventory in China has dropped by approximately 14% over the last month to 3.0-3.2m m3. Inventory levels have dropped about 30% over the last two months., which is a good sign heading towards the Chinese New Year in February 2021.
Daily log use in China is now back to the 100k to 105k m3 range after peaking at over 120k m3 at the end of October.
China’s ban on export logs and sawn timber has widened to include all of Australia. There is no sign of this changing in the short term. In Quarter 3 of this year Australia supplied approximately 11% of the softwood logs imported by China.
The supply chain costs for spruce from Europe continued to increase due to a shortage of containers.
The longer-term supply situation may be beneficial for New Zealand logs with forecasts that 2021 will be the peak of spruce availability from Europe and a proposed Russian ban on export logs starting in January 2022.
The CFR prices for New Zealand pine logs in China has continued to increase. The range for A grade logs is 130 for early December shipments to mid-130’s for later December shipments.