The February At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for logs at New Zealand ports were predominantly rolled over for March. During March there have been gradual increases in the CFR sale price for radiata pine logs in China as productivity in China ramped up.

A grade was selling in the 108-111 USD per JASm3 range prior to the news about the NZ COVID-19 lockdown.

The Chinese market reacted immediately to the New Zealand lockdown with wholesalers increasing their selling prices overnight by an average of 150 CNY per m3.

The combination of increased sale prices in China and the NZD weakening against the USD will see a significant increase in AWG prices when harvesting resumes.

Many domestic mills reported near record domestic sales of structural sawn-timber during Quarter 1. Of course, this has all come to a halt with the NZ COVID-19 lockdown.

Due to some lower domestic log prices, the PF Olsen Log Price Index decreased $1 in March to $106, The index is currently $18 below the two-year average, $19 below the three-year average, and $14 lower than the five-year average.

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