Little logs get big prices

Wednesday 12 Jun 2019

Smaller sized softwood log exports from Australia hit record average prices in March 2019 - Averaging AUDFob162.45/m3, prices for softwood logs less than 15 cm diameter hit a new peak, sustaining their recent price advantage over the larger dimension logs.

For export, softwood logs are recorded as larger or smaller than 15cm diameter.

Exports of the smaller sized logs have fluctuated in recent months: falling in December, rebounding in January, before falling sharply again in February and again rebounding in March 2019. Exports were recorded at 79,357 m3 in March 2019.

Despite the volumes moving around, the average price of AUDFob162.45/m3 continues a long run of trend price growth for what are traditionally considered to be logs that yield lower value than the larger dimension logs.

Larger dimension (>15 cm diameter at the small end) logs dominate exports volumes, and in the month of March, they accounted for 78.6% of total exports. The reported export volume was 290,667 m3, at an average price of AUDFob144.39/m3.

With the price differential around AUD18/m3, the chart is important because it shows prices for larger dimension logs are more stable over all time periods.

Photo credit: OneFortyOne Plantations

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