Timber Exchange trade statistics September of 2023

2023 10 13
  • In September, the State Forest Enterprise (SFE) announced 195 auctions. In addition to the semi-annual auction, a total of 265 418 solid m3 of wood products were offered. Compared to August, the volume of timber offered increased by 3% and the volume of timber sold decreased by 15%. The auctions were organised by 26 VMU units.
  • The SPOT Wood Index recorded an index value of EUR 49.95/solid m3. The index value shows a decrease of 39% compared to the same period last year. Compared to the previous month, the index fell by 5%.
  • Significant price changes were recorded in September:
    • In the sawn timber (B/C) assortment, the price fell by 10%, from EUR 92.84/solid m3 to EUR 83.32/solid m3.
    • The price of the tar log assortment decreased by 7%, from EUR 54.23/solid m3 to EUR 50.45/solid m3
    • The price of the felling residue assortment fell by 7%, from EUR 35.06/solid m3 to EUR 32.77/solid m3.

BALTPOOL Timber Price (SPOT) Index

Trade in TOP timber assortments in ETTS short-term auctions

Trade 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 111 292 -20% 45.4%   52.74 4.8% -35%
PJ (spruce, pine, birch); B/C; St,Vd; L2, L3 3 155 198% 3% 83.32 -11% -20%
PJ (spruce, pine, birch); D; St,Vd; L2, L3 24 372 15% 21.9% 55.49 4% -37%
TR (deciduous, conifers) 22 960 -26% 20.6% 50.45 -7% -48%
PP (spruce, pine, birch) 8 400 -54% 8% 50.23 -2% -42%
PM, ML (class II and III calorific value) 52 405 21% 47% 42.19 -4% -48%
Felling residues, covered felling residues 5 650 97% 5% 32.77 -7% 6%

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

Timber assortments sold at ETTS short-term auctions


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

Timber prices on the global market continue their downward trend, particularly in North America where they dropped by around 15%. This decline is attributed to the housing and construction crisis, along with high interest rates.

In the US, housing starts fell in August 2023, while permits for new home building increased. Demand for new construction remains high due to a shortage of previously owned homes. Experts believe that 1.5 to 1.6 million units need to be built monthly to address this gap. There’s optimism that single-family construction starts could rebound in the coming months, provided there’s an ample supply of skilled labor. Total housing starts in the US for August fell by 11% compared to July, with a reported 1.283 million units. Building permits, however, increased by nearly 7% to 1.543 million units, indicating future construction activity.

Meanwhile, in Europe, timber prices have sharply dropped, leading to a significant decrease in timber sales. Forest owners are facing challenges in finding regular uses for their products, and the outlook remains uncertain.

Germany’s housing construction sector experienced record-high cancellations in August, reaching 20.7% of companies. This increase is attributed to rising construction costs, higher interest rates, and reduced subsidies linked to stricter energy regulations. Order shortages also surged to 44.2%, a notable increase from the previous year.

In the short term, some countries show a positive tendency. Estonia’s round timber market has seen a moderate increase in prices over the past month, particularly for softwood logs, birch pulpwood, and firewood. Pine logs, in particular, experienced a notable 11.6% price increase.

Considering the EU overall, softwood timber imports to the EU have decreased by 60%, with no imports from Russia and Belarus in the first half of the year. The 2.7 million m³ previously supplied by these countries were not offset by increased imports from other sources.

Additionally, a recent global analysis of the timber sector reveals a substantial increase in exports of secondary processed timber products from International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) producer countries. This figure reached USD 36.5 billion in 2022, a nearly 40% rise from 2020. Notably, a significant portion of this trade, valued at USD 12 billion, consisted of wooden furniture exported from Vietnam to the United States.