In April, trade under short-term contracts via the Electronic Timber Trading System (ETTS) was very active, with the sales volumes increasing 3.5 times compared to April last year. The supply of timber under short-term contracts increased by 76% and the total quantity ratio of purchased to offered timber decreased from 1:4.3 to 1:2.1 compared to April 2019. It is therefore evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has not had any material effect on timber trade.
A total of 75,944 solid m3 was sold via the ETTS in April. The number of auctions organised in the course of the month was 138, of which 107 auctions were announced as completed. One hundred thirty-four buyers took part in the auctions, and 97.7% of timber was purchased by Lithuanian companies. The total value of the sold timber amounted to EUR 2.3 million.
The entire quantity of timber sold in April was sold at short-term auctions. A total of 75,944 m3 of timber was sold, which is a 7% increase compared to March 2020 and a 3.5 times increase compared to March 2019. The growth in the trade volumes is due to the increased supply of timber: the monthly change was 31%, and the increase is 76% compared to March 2019.
Sawlogs were the most demanded assortment – a total of 18,203 solid m3 of these were sold. Sawlogs were followed by firewood (16,055 solid m3), packing logs (14,384 solid m3), wood panels (13,125 solid m3), pulpwood (12,310 solid m3), timber harvesting residues (1,700 solid m3) and hard leafy short timber (167 solid m3).
Trade in TOP timber assortments in March accounted for 84% of the total sales of timber, i.e. 63,842 solid m3. The short-term transaction portfolio included 35% of wood panels and firewood (class II and III calorific value), 19% of pulpwood, 20% of packing logs, 13% of sawlogs and 2% of timber harvesting residues.
The prices of TOP assortments have changed considerably in April, in particular for class B/C sawlogs and firewood. Despite the sold quantities of these assortments being the greatest in April, their prices decreased the most – by 11% and 12% respectively. The prices of timber harvesting residues increased by 38%, which may be due to the low liquidity of this assortment. The prices of the other assortments have changed only slightly: the increase was 4% for pulpwood and 3% for packing logs, while the price of quality class D sawlogs has not changed.
We would also like to remind market participants that the half-year auction of the second half of 2020 will be held on 22–27 May, at which 848,179 solid m3 of timber will be offered. The full list of assortments can be consulted here.