Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Riding the crest of the wave : sawn softwood markets in 2003-2004

Source: Forest products annual market review, 2003-2004, chapter 5, UN-ECE timber bulletin, vol. LVII, no. 3 (2004): pages 33-39.

Author(s)Spelter, Henry; Kozak, Robert; Burdin, Nikolai

Publication Year: 2004  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: Globalization of the sawn softwood sector continues as we ride the crest of the wave, characterized by generally positive markets worldwide. In North America, market conditions for sawn softwood are booming, fuelled by a robust housing sector; however, the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and Canada is dampening this generally positive outlook. The mountain pine beetle epidemic that rages in British Columbia, Canada continues, with approximately 4.8 million hectares of forestland currently infested and government policies regarding harvesting approaches being enacted as rapidly as possible. Demand for sawn softwood in the increasingly important Chinese market continues to grow, providing market opportunities for exporters of both sawnwood products and logs. Japanese sawn softwood consumption increased in 2003 for the first time since 1995 because of short-term increases in housing starts: European sawnwood exports to Japan reached record levels in 2003. Markets for sawn softwood in Europe remain strong and Nordic producers fared well in 2003, particularly Sweden, whose sawnwood output neared record levels of 17 million m3, in spite of increased competition from Russia and the Baltic countries and due largely to increased marketing efforts in the United Kingdom. The eastern European countries and Russia continue to re-define the global marketplace for sawn softwood, as foreign investments in these regions all along the forestry supply chain ramp up their ability to compete worldwide. A United States government ban on CCA-treated sawnwood in residential applications goes into effect in 2004, leaving wood preservers to seek alternative wood preserving solutions. The outlook for sawn softwood markets in 2004 is being impacted by the interplay of lower housing demand, increased roundwood supplies and a weaker US dollar. Based on historical trends, it is possible that higher North American prices for sawn softwood could still prevail through the first quarter of 2005, followed by a return to more normal pricing.

Keywords: Forest products; marketing; economic aspects; forest products industry; statistics; supply and demand; consumption; forecasting; market surveys; softwoods; globalization

File size: 258 kb(s)

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 18701
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Spelter, Henry N.
Economist (Volunteer)

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »