Lumber price index below that of log wood for the first time since 2018

Article by Raphael Kerschbaumer (translated by Eva Guzely) | 17.02.2023 - 10:31

As the Datacube chart shows, the price indices for lumber and log wood experienced a more or less parallel development since the early 2000s – until the gap between the two widened substantially when the lumber price started to rise sharply in the spring of 2021.

After two turbulent ascents, the lumber price index has been falling sharply since May last year. Although the curve flattened somewhat compared to previous months, the index value decreased by five percentage points month on month. Following a cumulated decrease of 86.2 percentage points in just seven months, the lumber price index reached a value of 156.9% at the end of the year (January 2001 = 100%). This marks the first time since February 2018 that the lumber price index has fallen below that of log wood.

As can be seen from data collected by the Austrian Timber Industry Association, the log price index stabilized again in September 2022 and has recorded slight but steady month-on-month increases since then. The index value rose by 1.1 percentage points compared to November, reaching 160% in December. This was enough to overtake the lumber price index for the first time in nearly five years.