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Wood Demand Down at Sawmills, Up at Pulpmills in Q2 2011

Despite optimism that pine grade demand would increase during Q2 2011 in the US South, it fell slightly by 0.6% to 18.4 million tons at 424 mills that consumed pine grade.  Although small, this was the first drop since Q3 2010.  That said, pine grade demand remains significantly below where it was five years ago when it exceeded 27 million tons in Q2 2006.  And while demand fell at sawmills, it increased 2.9% at plywood plants.

Hardwood sawtimber demand fell for the third consecutive quarter, though by less than 1% across 518 mills in the US South. Mill contacts reported relatively stable markets, but depressed prices for hardwood end products tightened margins.  Current wood demand is 78% of where it was five years ago.

Pine pulpwood and direct chip consumption increased 1% overall for the quarter across 196 forest industry and bioenergy facilities in the South, though demand at OSB plants fell 4.7%.  Hardwood pulpwood demand also increased by 1% in the South.

Forisk’s Wood Demand Research tracks 2,729 wood using mills in the US. For the complete, free Q2 2011 Forisk News, click here.

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