Log export market update

Wednesday 7 Apr 2021

Log export market graphics - This week we've got our monthly update from the Champion Freight team and some market commentary from PF Olsen.

The chart shows total log export values to China year-on-year to the end of February were down just 2 percent year-on-year contributing to overall log exports reducing by 3 percent across all markets.

Shipments to China to the end of February, month-on-month are up a whopping 59 percent driving overall log exports up by 48 percent.

Market Summary - March AWG prices remained the same as February prices. Increased shipping costs for logs to China was mostly covered by increased CFR sale prices. There was little movement in domestic log prices as we come to the end of Quarter 1. April AWG prices will be determined by the relative rises of log prices and shipping costs, while currency movement will also have an impact.

The PF Olsen Log Price Index remained at $130 in March due to the stable AWG prices. The index is currently $10 above the two-year average, $6 above the three-year average, and $6 above the five-year average.

China - The CFR prices for New Zealand pine logs in China has increased approximately 5 USD over the last month and is still increasing. The price for A grade logs is now around 158 USD per JASm3 and log exporters will continue to ask for increased pricing to compensate for increased shipping costs. Steady increases in log prices this year have been achievable to date as wholesales are still making a margin.

Softwood log inventory has climbed to 4.6m m3 as volume continued to arrive while China restarted after the Chinese New Year period. Daily port off-take is currently a healthy 70k and increasing weekly. The China Caixin Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.9 in February. This is a relatively neutral score which predicts minimal change in manufacturing. While output and new work eased the PMI was also affected by raw material shortages and transport delays increasing suppliers’ delivery times. (Suppliers’ delivery times makes up 15% of the PMI). Business sentiment strengthened with future output expectations jumping to the second highest since August 2014.

Source: Champion Freight and PF Olsen

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