Sawlog prices trended upward throughout the world in the 4Q 2013 and the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) rose to US-$ 88.78/m³. This was the highest level in over two years and the third highest price on record since 1995, reports Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Upward price movements the past year have been the highest in the Western US, Western Canada, Japan, Latvia and Sweden, with 4Q 2013 prices being between 8 to 18% higher than in the 4Q 2012. Most of these countries are major lumber exporters, and with improved consumption of lumber around the world in late 2013, demand for sawlogs increased so sawmills have been forced to pay more for logs to be able to obtain sufficient supplies to feed their mills. This trend is likely to continue in 2014 with lumber markets improving in North America and Europe.
In all of 2013, global shipments of softwood logs were up by as much as 17% from 2012, totaling more than 80 million m³, based on estimates by WRQ. This would be the highest shipment of logs since 2007.