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Home  Newsletter Archive  July 2001


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 Latest Members
International Paper Company USA
Kronoply GmbH Germany
Eswood International Ltd China
Amana Overseas Co. Inc. Canada
Franz Wagner GmbH & Co KG Austria
H J Berry England
Global Trading France
Siblesprom Ltd Russia

Corporate Brief: Lumber industry giants join web community
International Paper Company, the world's largest forest products company, and Kronoply, part of the Krono Group of Switzerland, have become members of TIMBERWeb.
The two companies signed up as Full Members and have received their own members web page, full access to TIMBERWeb's daily news & trade data and its database of contacts, plus the opportunity to e-trade lumber.
TIMBERWeb now has 750+ members from over 70 countries.
View each company's Members Pages by clicking: International Paper Company and Kronoply.

Canada: Canfor VP named Chairman of Canadian Wood Council
A Vice President of Canadian Forest Products has been named Chairman of the Canadian Wood Council for 2001-2002.

Norway: Norske Skog could get NOK 1.5 billion in forest sales - newspaper
Norwegian forestry company Norske Skog ASA could raise about 1.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($160.4 million) by selling forests in Norway and Sweden in a drive to focus on its core business of producing paper, daily Dagens Naeringsliv said on Tuesday.

Japan: Plywood entering market reaches 700,00 cubic metres a month
A total of 702,000 cubic metres of plywood entered the Japanese market in April, a rise of seven per cent on the same month last year and the largest monthly volume so far reported this year.

The Netherlands/Canada: Dutch approve Weyerhaeuser coastal operations
The Dutch timber certification system backed by The Netherlands Government has approved the forest practices of Weyerhaeuser’s B.C. Coastal Group.

Latvia: Latvijas Finieris plywood receives FSC certification
Leading plywood producer Latvijas Finieris has received Chain of Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

UK: Timber business decisions by 'gut instinct'
Gut instinct and personal knowledge, rather than formal indicators, may be driving decision making in the forestry industries, according to a groundbreaking new study.

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Market Report: US structural wood market forecast 2000-2005

The North American lumber and structural wood panel production is expected to weaken slightly next year, while demand for wood I-beams and laminated veneer lumber output will continue to rise.

These are the principal findings according to a joint five-year market forecast released recently by APA - The Engineered Wood Association and the Southern Forest Products Association upon which the following report is based.

Timber Supply

Domestic raw material supplies are expected to be adequate for all categories of structural wood products during the forecast period. However, rising timber costs in the south during the past few years have placed southern producers in a high-cost position relative to other producing regions.

In the western US, the forecast assumes that increased use of private timber supplies, coupled with further environmental restrictions on both public and private timber, will result in a tighter supply of Western timber in the next five years.

Canadian forests are expected to continue to meet the timber requirements of Canadian softwood lumber manufacturers, assuming that no external factors (such as environmental legislation) will change the existing Canadian timber supply situation.


North American lumber production is expected to decline about two per cent this year, from 65.7 billion board feet in 2000 to 64.5 billion in 2001. It is expected to decline further to approximately 63.3 billion feet in 2002 before climbing to 68.1 billion feet in 2005. U.S. production is forecast to total some 34.6 billion feet in 2001, with Canadian production at 29.9 billion.

Of the 54 billion board feet of lumber expected to be consumed in the U.S. this year, some 19.5 billion feet will be imported. Canada, on the other hand, is producing more lumber than it consumes. In fact, the country exports nearly two-thirds of its lumber production.

The projected Lumber Production and Consumption in the United States (in billion board feet), 2001 is: Production 34.6, Consumption 54.0, Imports 19.5 and Exports 0.1.

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Canada: Lumber prices fall by almost 30 per cent, more volatility forecast

Toronto, 11 July: Canadian lumber prices fell by almost 30 per cent last month as the market corrected itself following the surge in value that greeted the expiration of the Canada-USA Softwood Lumber Agreement, said a new report.

The TD Commodity Price Index dropped by five per cent in US dollar terms last month - pushing the index to a 12-month low – with weakness widespread across all major commodity groups except agriculture.

Lumber and natural gas suffered the worst declines reflecting the impact of the current global economic slowdown and the decline in U.S. demand, said analysts.

Craig Alexander, Senior Economist at TD Bank Financial Group, said: “Although American consumers and businesses will eventually respond to the combination of Fed rate cuts and tax relief, a recovery is unlikely to take hold until the fourth quarter of 2001 – implying that commodity prices will be hard-pressed to rise on a sustained basis this summer.

“However, a rebound in the U.S. economy heading into 2002 should improve global demand next year and provide support to commodity prices, with base metals and forest products benefiting the most.”

The TD report said that lumber prices, which surged by more than 70 per cent in the April-May period, surrendered almost one-third of their gains by the end of June.

Mr Alexander said: “The recent volatility in lumber prices reflects the resilience of the U.S. housing market to the economic slowdown, as well as market uncertainty surrounding the prospects for imports of Canadian lumber into the United States, which is the issue at the centre of the softwood trade dispute.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s preliminary ruling on whether a countervailing duty should be imposed on softwood lumber imports from Canada, originally set for June 26, has been postponed until July 27.

Meanwhile, the TD report said that Canada won a partial victory in the case it brought before the World Trade Organisation late last month.

The WTO effectively ruled that Canada’s restriction on the export of raw logs is not a subsidy. The decision, said the TD report, reduces concern by Canadian producers that the existing restrictions on log exports might be dragged into the ongoing softwood lumber issue.

However, the report added: “The trade dispute is far from over, suggesting that lumber prices will remain extremely volatile in the near-term.”

Australia: Wood markets declining after construction boom - new report

Canberra, 11 July: The consumption and production of structural wood - sawnwood and wood based panels - in Australia fell sharply in the first quarter due to a continued drop in housing construction, according to a new report.

Consumption fell by 13 per cent to 1.2 million cubic metres, 26 per cent below consumption levels for the same period in 2000 when the housing cycle was at its peak. Production fell by nine per cent during Q1.

Dr Brian Fisher, Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE), said: “This is the lowest quarterly level of structural wood consumption since the March quarter 1992.”

He said the fall in domestic demand for structural wood contributed to a fall in both the volume and value of forest product imports. The volume of sawnwood imports fell by 34 per cent to 117,100 cubic metres in the first quarter - the lowest quarterly level of sawnwood imports for over 30 years.

Figures published in a new report, ‘Australian Forest Product Statistics: March quarter 2001’, indicate the total value of imported forest products fell by 15 per cent to A$898 million during this period.

Dr Fisher said the value of paper and paperboard import rose by nine per cent to A$1.6 billion, and pulp imports rose by 88 per cent to A$265 million. These imports, however, also fell in the first quarter of 2001.

He added that the value of exports of forest products from Australia fell by 3 per cent to A$437 million in the March quarter 2001. The main contributors to the fall in the value were woodchips, sawnwood and wastepaper exports.

Paper and paperboard exports rose by 19 per cent to A$138 million in the first quarter, partly offsetting the falls in exports of structural wood.

“A major contributor to this rise was a three fold increase in the volume of packaging and industrial paper exports to China,” Dr Fisher said.

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