Euro Lumber Shipments Update

Breakbulk vessel sailings of European lumber are down 20% in February and will be down 50% in March as most European sawmills clean up US lumber inventory at European ports and drastically reduce production of US sized lumber. If we don’t see a pop in the market in March, we will see even less European lumber shipments coming to the US for April departures. European market demand is down but prices are higher than the US market right now and log prices in central Europe are increasing. The Middle East, Northern Africa and Asian markets are now paying more for European lumber than the US market is currently paying. The European lumber production will shift fairly quickly to other markets. Specific Sweden sawmills that are tied to pulp production will continue to ship consistently to the US as they need the chips for the pulp.


Fascinating insights @David_Stallcop

Does the MENA market often pay more than the US market for Euro wood (similar to how China is a common contender for Canadian wood)?


In a traditional “pre-covid” market MENA paid good prices for Rough KD Spruce and Pine from all over Europe. But the sizes are completely different from US sizes and the fact that they prefer Rough KD instead of surfaced lumber actually lowers the cost to the mills. They can just downstick and unitize after kiln drying and not have to spend the money to surface the lumber through a planer or moulder.

Many MENA countries also prefer AD (Air Dried) and AST (Anti Stain Treated) Pine and Spruce because in markets such as Dubai it is like an oven most of the year and as long as it is stickered every layer, the wind will blow the lumber moisture content down to 10~12% in less than a week.

This also lowers the cost for European sawmills since they don’t have to pay to kiln dry the lumber. Just cut, sticker every layer, package, anti stain dip the units and ship it within a day or two of cutting it.