Timber Exchange trade statistics March of 2024

2024 04 12
  • In March, the State Forest Enterprise (SFE) announced 148 auctions. A total of 184.41 thousand cubic metres of timber products were offered for sale. Compared to February, the volume of timber offered more than doubled and the volume sold increased by 83%. The auctions were organised by 26 VMU units.
  • The Timber SPOT Index recorded a value of EUR 53.58 per cubic metre. The index value shows a decrease of 17% compared to the same period last year. Compared to the previous month, the index increased by 7%.
  • Significant price changes were recorded in February:
    • The price of sawnwood (birch, spruce, pine), grade D, increased by 12%, from EUR 65.32/solid cubic meter to EUR 73.14/solid cubic meter.
    • The price of pulpwood (birch, spruce, pine) rose by 18% from EUR 46.88/solid cubic meter to EUR 55.26/solid cubic meter.

BALTPOOL Timber Price (SPOT) IndexTrade in TOP timber assortments in ETTS short-term auctionsTrade in TOP assortments in ETTS short-term auctions

Assortments Quantity, solid m³ Change in quantity per month Quantity percentage in the scope of TOP 5 assortments Price, Eur/solid m³ Change in price per month Change in price per year
Baltpool Timber Spot index Index 76 717 -34% 34.7%  52.74 4.8% -35%
PJ (spruce, pine, birch); B/C; St,Vd; L2, L3 6 715 -26% 9% 82.73 4% -5%
PJ (spruce, pine, birch); D; St,Vd; L2, L3 8 860 -32% 11.5% 73.14 12% -2%
TR (deciduous, conifers) 11 035 2% 14.4% 65.93 3% -15%
PP (spruce, pine, birch) 19 045 -19% 25% 55.26 15% -25%
PM, ML (class II and III calorific value) 31 062 33% 40% 38.86 3% -30%
Felling residues, covered felling residues 5 500 -28% 7% 25.93 -3% 184%

Trade in regional units of the State Forest Enterprise in short-term auctions

Timber assortments sold at ETTS short-term auctionsAbbreviations:

KA – felling residues; KAD – covered felling residues; KAK – felling residues at cleared space; KL – hard leafy short timber; ML – firewood; PM – panel timber; PJ – sawn logs; PP – pulpwood; TR – packing logs; St – large-sized timber, small-end diameter ≥32 cm; Vd – medium-sized timber, small-end diameter 20-31 cm; Sm – small-sized timber, small-end diameter ≤19 cm; L1 – assortment length class, ≤2.9 m; L2 – assortment length class, 3.0 – 3.9 m; L3 – assortment length class, 4.0 – 6.0 m; L4 – assortment length class, 6.1 – 8.9 m.

Global timber market

In March 2024, the timber industry navigates through economic, regulatory, and innovative challenges, alongside ethical considerations in global trade.

US Interest Rates and Lumber Demand. Inflationary pressures and the Federal Reserve’s response have directly influenced the timber market. Despite a period of declining inflation, unexpected increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) have led to a cautious stance from the Fed, hinting at potentially higher interest rates for longer. This has a ripple effect on the housing market, with elevated mortgage rates dampening demand for new homes, albeit existing home prices remain high. This environment paradoxically supports robust demand for new construction and, by extension, lumber. The lumber futures market reflects this dynamism, with prices showing a bullish trend and the WOOD ETF offering a liquid alternative for market participants looking to gain exposure to lumber’s price movements.

Regulatory Challenges with the EUDR. The European timber industry is facing regulatory hurdles, particularly with the upcoming EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). Industry representatives are calling for a delay in its implementation, arguing that both the systems and companies are unprepared for the changes. The regulation aims to combat deforestation by implementing a risk-based approach to timber imports, a move that the industry supports in principle but finds challenging in practice due to the need for more time to adjust.

Innovations in Forestry. On a more positive note, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) marks the International Day of Forests (21st of March by highlighting the need for innovative solutions to leverage forests in addressing global challenges. With forests under pressure from various threats, new technologies, policy solutions, and institutional arrangements are being developed to promote sustainable forest management and use. These innovations are crucial for the conservation and sustainable management of forests, which play a vital role in global environmental health and sustainability.

Sanction Evasion through Timber Re-export. A significant investigation has uncovered a complex scheme that allows Belarusian timber, sanctioned by the EU, to enter European markets disguised as Central Asian products. This scheme leverages loopholes and lax enforcement at EU borders, exploiting a dramatic increase in timber imports from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as a front for Belarusian timber. This not only challenges EU sanctions but also highlights the need for stricter enforcement and regulatory measures to prevent such evasion tactics.

In summary, the timber industry in March 2024 is navigating through a complex landscape marked by economic uncertainties, regulatory challenges, innovation-driven opportunities, and ethical dilemmas regarding sanction evasion. These developments underscore the industry’s need to adapt to changing economic conditions, embrace regulatory changes with adequate preparation, leverage innovation for sustainability, and uphold ethical standards in trade practices.