PF Olsen export log market update

Wednesday 28 Apr 2021

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.

India – The Kandla log market is improving with April shipment indicative pricing for A grade of 165 USD for Australian logs and 175 USD for New Zealand logs. March shipments from Uruguay sold for an average of $140 USD for A grade. As explained further in the shipping section of this report, Uruguay is now targeting larger vessels for China. The average price for sawn timber in Kandla has increased to 501 INR per ft3.

Pine logs will be in short supply in Tuticorin due to the lack of containers. The price of a container from Australia to Tuticorin is reported to be over $100 USD per m3.

PF Olsen Log Price Index (March 2021) – The index remained at $130 in March as there was no price movement. The index is currently $10 above the two-year average, $6 above the three-year average, and $6 above the five-year average.

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