Forest2Market Monthly News

February Poll

How will the recently-enacted tax plan affect the forest value chain in 2018?

Positive impacts
No significant impacts
Negative impacts
Results From January's Poll

Forest2Market is forecasting 1.26 million US housing starts in 2018. How do you think the sector will perform?
10 Predictions for Global Wood Consuming Industries in 2018

By Pete Stewart
With China’s moratorium on Mixed Paper imports (as a feedstock), many pulp mills in China are converting to virgin pulp at a time when market demand is increasing. Two million tons of pulp production will come on line in late 2018, and the trend won’t abate until then. Pulp prices will remain at record levels, incenting capacity expansions and likely acquisitions/disposition of working pulp assets.

Export Regulations of Russian Birch Logs Likely in 2018

By Vasylysa Hänninen
The scarcity of birch logs in Russia—driven primarily by the country’s rapid birch plywood capacity expansion and a significant increase in birch log exports—is a topic that has been discussed by the domestic forest products industry and the government for a couple of years. Now, it seems that the dialogue has finally resulted in some potential solutions. Though pending official approval, birch log export limitations are expected to take effect in early 2018.

Japan's Booming Timber Exports Driven by Chinese Demand

By John Greene
While southern yellow pine (SYP) exports to China are on track to increase 65 percent over 2016 numbers, the US South isn’t the only region that is experiencing significant export growth driven by China’s demand for timber.

North American Lumber Industry Starts 2018 in High Gear

By Keta Kosman
As Madison’s anticipated at the end of 2017, the North American lumber market is back in high gear as customers in Canada and the US keep up with high demand. Significant volumes of 2x8 construction framing lumber arrived at the US eastern seaboard from various EU sawmills (generally Germany but also some Scandinavian countries), which—once it was ripped down to 2x4s—proved to not meet US building standards.

Charting the Sinking Dollar and Lumber Trade Flows into 2018

By Pete Stewart
An interesting dynamic in global currencies is taking shape. The DJIA continues to soar, tax cuts are on the horizon for American workers, American companies are bringing cash back into the country and pumping it into their operations, and a general sense of optimism is driving corporate growth. However, the Trump Administration’s “America First” policy is ruffling some feathers with America’s global trading partners, and the US dollar (USD) is positioned to plunge as a result.

Commercial Construction in Wood
The US Housing Market: 2017 Performance and 2018 Outlook

By John Greene
Despite December's drop in housing starts, economists and industry watchers are warning that the performance is not indicative of what is really going on within the larger US housing market. Starts fell hardest in the Northeast and US South, where temperatures were significantly below normal and both regions continue to be battered by extensive cold fronts and extreme conditions. And despite December’s number, an estimated 1.2 million units were started in 2017, which is 2.4 percent above the 2016 number of 1.17 million units.

Managing Wood Costs during Winter Months in Eastern North America

By Pete Coutu
For companies operating in the forest industry, managing raw material costs can pose a significant challenge that requires constant attention to make meaningful operating improvements. Wood fiber costs are the single largest cost component for participants in the forest products industry, whether it’s a solid wood product or a pulp-derived product.

An Honest Conversation: California Must Reevaluate Forest Management Practices

By John Greene
America’s highly fractious political divide has come to influence nearly every conceivable discussion under the sun. Even topics that everyone generally agrees upon—such as addressing the catastrophic wildfires that affected the Western US and Canada last summer—are not safe from controversy, and the discussion inevitably devolves into finger pointing.

US Forest Industry Performance: December 2017

By Joe Clark
Total industrial production (IP) moved up 0.2 percent in November (+3.4 percent YoY) after posting an upwardly revised increase of 1.2 percent (originally +0.9 percent) in October. Manufacturing output also rose 0.2 percent for a third consecutive monthly gain. Total IP was hampered by a 1.9 percent drop in the output of utilities.