WRI’s global wood fiber price indices moved up in the 3Q/20, mainly driven by a weaker US dollar

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In the 3Q/20, the Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) was up by 1.6% to $81.17/odmt, following a 16-year low in the previous quarter. The first q-o-q increase in almost two years was mainly driven by a weakening of the US dollar against currencies in all WRQ countries except Russia. Currencies in Europe and Oceania strengthened between 5-10% from the 2Q/20 to the 3Q/20.

In the Nordic countries, hardwood prices in the 3Q/20 jumped 7% q-o-q (in US dollars) and were close to their highest levels in five years. Other countries that have seen price increases include Canada, Chile, France, and Germany. Comparing the wood fiber costs for the largest hardwood pulp producers worldwide shows that Japan, China, Finland, Australia, and Spain (in ranking order) had the highest hardwood fiber costs during this quarter. 

The high fiber costs in Japan and China are mainly due to their pulp industry’s reliance on imported wood chips. Although import chip prices have declined by 8% in Japan and 20% in China the past year, the wood costs they face are still substantially higher than in any other country in the world.  

Softwood fiber costs have also gone up for the global pulp industry in the 3Q/20, predominantly in the Nordic countries, France, Australia, and New Zealand. However, there were a few exceptions, most notably in the Western US and Germany, where softwood chip prices fell by 16% and 7% from the 2Q/20, respectively. The price decline was mainly due to oversupply of residual chips from sawmills running at high operating rates. 

The Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 1.4% q-o-q in the 3Q/20, the first increase in almost two years. The rise was mainly due to the weakening US dollar. In fact, in the local currencies, softwood chips and pulplog prices fell in most markets in the 3Q/20, especially in Europe.

Wood Resources International LLC

Hakan Ekstrom



Wood Resources International LLC (WRI), an internationally recognized forest industry-consulting firm established in 1987, publishes a global quarterly wood market report and have subscribers in over 30 countries. The Wood Resource Quarterly, established in 1988, is a 70-page market report and includes prices and trade or sawlog, pulpwood, wood chips, lumber and pellets, and market commentary to developments in global timber, biomass and forest industry.