The CFR prices for New Zealand radiata pine logs in China increased approximately 20 USD over the last month. The price for A grade logs in late April is now around 178 USD per JASm3.
Log sellers have started to notice some Chinese buyer reluctance at these record high prices. However, there is nothing to suggest that prices will drop, other than history. Log demand in China is healthy with supply still somewhat constrained, and stock levels are declining downwards.
Prices for European spruce logs also increased over the month but seem to have reached the point where buyers are quite reluctant to buy.
The At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for New Zealand export logs increased an average of $2-$3 per JASm3. Significantly increased shipping costs for logs to China was covered by increases in sale prices in China, as well as the NZD weakening against the USD. CFR sale prices in China are at record high levels.
The PF Olsen Log Price Index increased $2 to $132 in April due to the increase in domestic and export saw log prices. The index is currently $11 above the two-year average, $8 above the three-year average, and $8 above the five-year average.
China softwood log inventory has trended downwards to 4.2m m3 and daily port off-take had increased from 70k last month to 120k earlier this month and is now back to about 100k.
The ban on Australian logs has continued and the volume of logs arriving from Europe has remained at about the 1m mark per month which is down from the peak of 1.5m per month. New Zealand had a high level of log production in March with 23 work-days and good weather. Many ports set records for log volume throughput. Log volumes from New Zealand will reduce as the country enters the winter season.
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