Global consumption of solid-wood products continues to rise, with a forecast of around 2–3 per cent annual growth over the next five years, according to SCA Timber. Source: Lesprom.
“The markets of Europe are increasing their consumption in most cases, with Scandinavia and the UK topping the table,” SCA Timber marketing director Anders Ante Andersson said.
“House building in wood is rising steadily in the US and the price of solid-wood products is following suit.
“North Africa, the Middle East and China are, and will remain, major consumers of solid-wood products.
“The Japanese solid-wood market has seen a negative trend over the past two quarters, but is set to stabilise at a good level in the near future.”
In the short term, comparing this year with 2013, the production of solid-wood products is also rising in Europe, and in Swedish production is being kept at full pace to deal with all the wind-thrown logs.
This is temporarily having a negative impact on the balance between supply and demand, but the long-term outlook is for a good balance and stability.
“Since the 2Q of this year, we have noted a certain hesitance among customers concerning the pricing of sawn solid-wood products,” Andersson said.
“Customers are, of course, looking at the statistics and it is true that our production is higher than last year and our stocks are somewhat higher compared with 2013.
“The increase in consumption is also not quite as high as the increase in production.
“This naturally puts a certain amount of pressure on the price of solidwood products.
“However, stock levels remain normal at the production end, and our customers’ stocks have fallen somewhat overall, as a consequence of moderation in purchasing.”
In general terms the price trend is expected to slow during the 4Q, with some ranges falling back somewhat and others remaining stable.
The weakening of the Swedish krona may also lead to certain pressure on prices in local currencies.
Any weakening of the trend should, however, be seen as relatively temporary, considering the outlook for the coming years, where the long-term trend continues to be extremely positive for northern Swedish solid-wood products.