Tree Frog Forestry News

America’s in a Forest Slump and New Zealand Log Prices Are on a Roll

By Lucy Craymer
The Wall Street Journal
February 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The U.S. lumber industry is in a rut, but halfway across the world, wood is still a hot commodity. Forestry prices in New Zealand… are near record highs, thanks largely to strong Chinese demand for logs. A-grade logs for export were recently selling for 140 New Zealand dollars (US$95) a metric ton, up around 14% from September. In contrast, U.S. futures contracts for lumber fell sharply in the second half of last year. That drop was the result of a cooling U.S. housing market, slower construction activity as well as sharply lower U.S. wood exports to China. U.S. lumber prices have ticked higher this year, but are still down about 25% from May 2018. …U.S.-China trade tensions over the past year also contributed to China’s increased appetite for New Zealand’s logs. …Some analysts are warning, however, that the good times may not last for long as China’s economic growth is slowing. [Digital subscription required to read full story]

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