Prices for pulp logs and wood chips have gone up in practically all markets worldwide in the 3Q/22. The Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) has moved upward for over two years to reach $100.47/bdmt in the 3Q/22, 26% higher than its 15-year low in the 2Q/20 (see chart). The index, denoted in US dollars, has increased over 10% in the past year despite a strengthening dollar against most other currencies in 2022.
Steady demand for paper products, record-high prices for market pulp, increased shipping costs, and a tightening supply of wood fiber has been the critical factors in the escalating of wood fiber costs. In local currencies, hardwood pulp logs have gone up the most in Europe and Latin America, ranging from 10 to 20%. In contrast, the price changes have been more modest in the US, Australia, and Japan (domestic).
Global softwood fiber prices have also risen over the past few years, with the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) increasing for nine consecutive quarters. In the 3Q/22, the SFPI was $101.63/bdmt, the highest level since early 2021. The biggest jumps in softwood fiber costs have occurred in Northwest US, Western Canada, Central Europe, and Latin America.