| +7 985 939 85 52
130 clients in 15 countries within 7 years of timber market research
WhatWood Global Trends Review Global Trends Review, June 17-23, 2013: Asian market drives European sawmilling, first wooden skyscraper planned to be built in Sweden

Global Trends Review, June 17-23, 2013: Asian market drives European sawmilling, first wooden skyscraper planned to be built in Sweden

24 June 2013 ` 13:12  

Many sawmills in Northern Europe have expanded their lumber sales outside the Europe market the past few years resulting in an increase in non-European exports from 27% of total exports in 2007 to 43% in 2012, as reported in WRI’s Wood Resource Quarterly. The European market has become relatively less important than it has been in the past. Finnish sawmills currently export over 55% of their shipments to non-European markets, with Japan and Egypt having become the two largest markets in 2012, ahead of the traditional markets of the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

The MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) market has become a large and very important region for Swedish sawmills over the past ten years, with the export value increasing from $160 million in 2002 to $730 million in 2012. This region accounted for 28% of the total export volume (23% of the value) for Sweden in 2012. Even though demand for lumber has fallen during the first few months of 2013, the MENA countries will continue to be major buyers of wood products from Sweden in the future.

Another interesting development for shipments from Sweden is that although volumes are still relatively small, exports during the first four months to China were up 130%. Volumes shipped to the improved US wood market were more than four times higher this year than in the same period in 2012, as reported in WRQ. China and the US, the world’s two largest lumber-importing countries, are likely to increase the import volumes of softwood lumber from both Finland and Sweden in the coming years as the demand for wood products is expected to go up.

Scandinavian shippers succeeded in achieving a sharp rise in their sales figures on the Asian markets during the course of the first six months and in some cases changed their respective ranges of products at the expense of Central European specifications. As they are registering growth in enquiries from this region for whitewood lumber deliveries recently, the shippers are going to increase lumber prices for Central European customers, EUWID Wood Products reported.

As of 1 July, the hardwood sawmills Djursdala and Traryd of the Swedish Södra group will be united in the Södra Timber division, Holzkurier reported quoting The plant in Djursdala is to keep its hardwood focus, whereas the mill in Traryd will also produce softwood lumber in the future: August will see the first pine logs go down the line and a second shift added. This measure should help Södra respond to market demands with greater flexibility. The majority of the Södra’s hardwood lumber goes to the furniture industry. Apart from that, it is raw material for solid wood flooring, mouldings, edge-glued panels and other interior products.

Meanwhile, German softwood lumber exports remain around last year’s level, reported Holzkurier. For January-April period, export deliveries were at 1.8 million m3, 3.5% less than in 2012. While top customer Austria stepped up imports by 3%, shipments to other European countries posted double-digit losses: France (244,000 m3, –17%), the Netherlands (170,000 m3, –20%), Belgium (150,000 m3, –20%), Italy (135,000 m3, –18%). China stands out with a massive 300%-increase to 72,000 m3. According to Holzkurier, this is probably due to the fact that Ilim Timber, with a sales office on site, might have changed their internal trade flows. Also the volume of 57,000 m3 (+170%) to India is, perhaps, owed to a major German industrial company there.

Exports of beech lumber from Germany in the same period were 148,920 m3, up from 123,181 m3 a year ago. The main customers were China, Poland and the United States.

In 2012, New Zealand exported 13.8 million m3 of logs as it increased market share in China when Canadian supply was diverted to the US and Russia’s exports declined, TTJ said. NZ forestry industry export earnings are expected to rise from NZ$4.3bn to NZ$5bn by 2016-17, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. However, while there’s good demand for logs, the outlook for exports of sawn timber, woodchips and panels remains challenging. Panel product export volumes are expected to remain at the same level as a year ago, but increased competition has impacted prices, which are forecast to fall by 6.8%.

The recent Weyerhaeuser’s acquisition of Longview could open new markets for the company, as said in TTJ’s report. This deal is the third largest forestry acquisition in North America and gives Weyerhaeuser a log export dock, sawmill and around 645,000 acres of timberland in Washington and Oregon (2,610 km2). The Longview sawmill accounts for one-third of Weyerhaeuser’s west coast production capacity and exports mainly to China and South Korea, so the acquisition opens Asian markets to Weyerhaeuser. The company said the newly acquired timberlands could also supply timber for the rising housing demand in California. “Given the growing strength of the housing recovery in California and the strong and stable export market driven principally by Japan, the demand for high quality US west coast timber is strong. And by increasing our high value Douglas fir holdings, we will have more flexibility to meet this demand,” a spokesperson said.

Shares and indices

Several companies have recently started share trading or joined share indices. Canadian Norbord announced that S&P Dow Jones Canadian Index Services has confirmed that the company will be added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index, effective after close of trading on June 21, 2013.

Shares in Munksjö Oyi began trading on the Helsinki Stock Exchange (NASDAQ OMX Helsinki) on 7 June. This firm was created as a result of the merger of the Label & Processing division within Ahlstrom with Munksjö AB. The share price fluctuated between €5.45 and €6.50 after opening, ending the day at €5.95.

On June 24, Travis Perkins building merchant is to join the UK’s leading share index FTSE, along with housebuilder Persimmon, at the expense of two Russian mining companies. Both companies’ economic positions have benefited from an improvement to the housing market, driving up their financial indicators.


Sweden’s first timber skyscraper is in planning stage, Holzkurier said. As a contribution to the HSB Stockholm architectural competition in 2023, the architectural firm Berg CF Møller Architects from Stockholm is currently planning a 34-storey wooden residential building. The skyscraper with a concrete core is one of three options available for implementation. The supporting structure (without core), walls, ceilings and window frames are made of wood. Large windows are to make the timber construction as such recognizable from the outside. A solar system on the roof is designed to provide for hot water. A cafe and a conservatory on the ground floor are intended to be a new urban meeting place also for non-residents.

Sonoco will raise the price for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard products by $40 per tonne, effective with shipments in the United States and Canada beginning July 8, 2013. The price increase is necessary to offset rising recovered paper and other raw materials costs, company said. The posted price for old corrugated containers in the Southeast U.S. has risen approximately 60% since September 2012. However, demand for all grades of uncoated recycled products is also strong.

Norske Skog has agreed to sell 51% of the shares in Norske Skog Pisa in Brazil to Papeles Bio Bio S.A., formerly Norske Skog Bio Bio. Norske Skog’s Pisa mill has a total newsprint production of approximately 170,000 tonnes and is one of total four newsprint mills in South America. Papeles Bio Bio has agreed upon the terms of purchasing Norske Skog’s remaining shares in the Brazilian operations within an expected time horizon of one to two years. The agreed purchase price for the 51% stake is $41.3 million. The buyer is part of Group BO/Pathfinder. The Group also owns BO Packaging, which is one of the leading companies in the Chilean, Brazilian and Peruvian packaging business. The investor consortium managing the BO/Pathfinder Group are former owners of Masisa. The group has interests in graphic, packaging, glass products, building products, agribusiness and real estate.

Consolidation in the fine paper market will progress with the closure of Condat’s PM6 in France, while its parent company Lecta continues to implement cost reduction measures, EUWID Paper announced. Closure will take effect on 1 July. The machine had designed capacity of 130,000 tonnes of woodfree coated paper and is closed against the background of declining demand and accumulating overcapacity in Western Europe.

Stora Enso is going to cut 2,500 jobs. The preliminary estimates of personnel reduction include 650 job losses in Finland, 750 from Sweden, 850 from the rest of Europe (excluding Nordic countries) and 250 from outside Europe. The staff reductions are across all business areas and also include the earlier announced €30 million streamlining of the Building and Living Business area. Stora Enso emphasised the plans did not include any capacity reduction.

Prepared using corporate press releases, Timber Trades Journal, Holzkurier, Wood Resources International, EUWID Wood Products, and EUWID Paper.

Prev pageLumber imports to Japan: volumes and prices Next pageKondopoga pulpmill launched PM5

What do you think?

You must be logged in to post a comment.