| +7 985 939 85 52
130 clients in 15 countries within 7 years of timber market research
WhatWood Global Trends Review Global Trends Review, May 27 – June 02, 2013: Top 20 softwood lumber producers in Europe; sawlog and pulpwood price trends in Q1

Global Trends Review, May 27 – June 02, 2013: Top 20 softwood lumber producers in Europe; sawlog and pulpwood price trends in Q1

4 June 2013 ` 01:38  

Sawlog prices were up in practically all regions in the 1Q/13, but they were still generally lower than they were a year ago, as reported in WRQ report by Wood Resources International. The biggest increases from the previous quarter occurred in Western US, Latvia, Finland and Sweden. The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) was up 2.4% to $86.33/m3 from the 4Q/12.

Wood fibre prices (including, among others, pulpwood and chips) were generally down in North America and up in the rest of the world during the 1Q/13. The Softwood Wood Fibre Price Index (SFPI) in the 1Q/13 was practically unchanged at $99.90/odmt from the 4Q/12. The SFPI has inched downward for seven consecutive quarters and is currently down 8.8% from the most recent peak in 2Q/11. The biggest changes in US dollar terms in the 1Q/13 were the declines in chip prices in Eastern Canada (-12.4%), Japan (-8.6%), Western Canada (-7.8%) and the US Northwest (-4.2%). The biggest increases came in France (+10%) and Germany (+6.9%).

Hardwood fibre prices were down in Asia and Eastern Canada in the 1Q, while they were slightly higher in Europe and Latin America as compared to the 4Q/12. The Hardwood Wood Fibre Price Index (HFPI) fell by 1.1% to $103.66/odmt in the 1Q/13, which was 12% below the all-time high in the 3Q/11.

Prices for softwood pulp (NBSK) have trended upward for six months and were in April about $845/tonne in Europe. Hardwood pulp (BHKP) prices have moved up at about the same rate.

Consumption of softwood lumber in Japan has been higher this year than in 2012 and the rise in demand has been met both by higher domestic lumber shipments (+6%) and by an increase in importation.

Sawmills in Sweden and Finland managed to expand their shipments to non-European countries during the first quarter. Export volumes to Japan were up 8% and 11% for Sweden and Finland, respectively.

Pellet prices were close to record-high levels in all the major markets in Europe in the 1Q/13.

Top 20 sawmilling companies in Europe

In a study presented in the German journal Holzkurier (and its English-language website,, it is reported that Top 20 lumber companies in Europe plan on increasing production this year by 2.4% to hit 33 million m3.

In 2012, the 20 largest softwood lumber producers in Europe made 32 million m3 of sawnwood. Clearly number one is Stora Enso’s Building and Living division with a lumber production of 4.59 million m3 last year. Next is Ilim Timber with an output of 2.16 million m3, however, only two of the five Ilim sawmills are located in Europe.

The profitability problems of the Central European sawmill industry is evident in the outputs. No German or Austrian sawmill group has announced a significant output increase. At the same time, local mills in the UK and in Romania are thriving to become players on a European scale. BSW Timber has recently started up a new line in Fort William in Scotland, while Holzindustrie Schweighofer has announced construction of a new sawmill in Romania and completed plans for a new sawmill in Ukraine.

The largest output increase was announced in one of the regions where roundwood is running low: Southern Sweden. This is where Södra (1.4 million m³, rank 11) intends to step up production to full capacity during the year on the production line that used to work for Klausner in Adelebsen, Germany.

The average lumber production per sawmill site (254,000 m3) has slightly increased. The reason is that particularly smaller sites have been closed down. While the top 20 companies have operated a total of 135 sawmills two years ago, this figure is down to 126 now. Scandinavian companies tend to have smaller-scale mills than those in Continental Europe.

Top 20 softwood lumber producers in Europe (thousand m3) in 2012

# Company Country Mills Prod.
1 Stora Enso (Building and Living) Finland 23 4592
2 Ilim Timber Industry Russia/Germany 6 (2 in EU) 2158
3 SCA Timber Sweden 7 2000
3 Mayr-Melnhof Holz Holding Austria 4 2000
5 Moelven Group Norway 19 1955
6 Pfeifer Holz Austria 5 1750
7 UPM Timber Finland 6 1696
8 Klausner-Group Germany/Austria 2 1620
9 Metsä Wood Finland 9 1610
10 Holzindustrie Schweighofer Romania/Austria 2 1600
10 Setra Group Sweden 9 1600
12 Södra Timber Sweden 9 1400
12 Rettenmeier Germany 5 1400
14 Vida Timber Sweden 7 1250
15 Klenk Holz Germany 3 1200
16 Ante-Holz Germany 2 1050
17 BSW Timber UK 7 1000
17 Ziegler Germany 1 1000
19 Versowood Finland 3 810
20 Binderholz Austria 2 800

Source: Holzkurier © 2013

From fossil fuels to biomass

Finland is going to increase share of biomass in energy consumption from 24% to 38% by 2020, as reported by Metla institute scientist Jari Miina. Presently, 8 million m3 of chips and pellets are produced in Finland, and this can be increased up to 15 million m3 without any harm for sustainable forestry. Biofuel industry also uses pulp & paper industry woodwaste. Today, wood biomass accounts for 80% of all renewable energy in Finland. Wood biomass will gradually replace coal and oil which now account for 24% and 11% of energy consumption respectively. Nuclear power has a 17% share, natural gas – 10%, peat – 6%, hydropower – 3%, while wind power share is negligible.

Iggesund Paperboard’s new biomass CHP plant in Workington, England came online. The company’s paperboard mill has thereby switched its energy source from fossil natural gas to biomass. On 28 May the plant was inaugurated. The new biomass boiler involves an annual reduction of fossil carbon emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than 58,000 cars, each driven 20,000 kilometres per year. As well as now being self-sufficient in electricity and heat, the mill will also be able to supply both green electricity and heat to local residents.

Latgran is planning to invest €15 million in the construction of a pellet plant in the Gulbene, North Latvia. The plant, which is to have an annual production capacity of 170,000 tonnes of industrial pellets, is scheduled to open in Q3 2014. According to CEO Jarl Wallden, the company recently received building permission from the competent authorities and has already ordered all the equipment. Machinery supplier is not disclosed.


The Far East is gaining importance for Scandinavian lumber exporters, reported Holzkurier quoting Japan has developed positively, despite the significant depreciation of the yen against the Swedish krona. Yet the most promising future market is China, as Danske Bank experts are saying. With about 1 million housing starts per year, the USA has shown evidence of solid recovery. At the same time, this reduces North America’s capacity to export lumber. Therefore, the most populous country in the world, China, looks to Northern Europe for wood, the first signs of which can now be seen: Sweden’s exports to China have doubled in 2012 to 250,000 m3. In January alone, Finland and Sweden exported 20,000 m3 each. This volume seems very small when compared to the Swedish shipments to the UK which amounted to 2.1 million m3 in 2012. Nonetheless, Danske Bank is confident that China will be one of the main buyers of Scandinavian wood products in the future.

The Turkish markets for particleboard and MDF/HDF, which had shown a relatively stable trend in recent years in spite of the on-going capacity enlargements, have increasingly started to slow down since the second half of 2012, EUWID Wood reported. Supply has grown again sharply during the course of last year, due to the commissioning of several production lines in quick succession. At the same time, various foreign wood-based panel producers, especially from Spain, Italy and South-East Europe, have continued to step up their deliveries to Turkey. This coincided with a softening in demand for particleboard and MDF/HDF on the Turkish market.

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

Prev pageIrkutsk Customs convicted local company in illegal log trade to China Next pageIgirma lumber mill to reach rated capacity in 2013

What do you think?

You must be logged in to post a comment.