The performance of the forestry industry couldn’t be much different in New Zealand and the United States. Lucy Craymer reports on the industry at The Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. lumber industry is in a rut, but halfway across the world, wood is still a hot commodity.
Forestry prices in New Zealand—one of the world’s largest timber exporters—are near record highs, thanks largely to strong Chinese demand for pine-tree logs.
A-grade logs for export were recently selling for 140 New Zealand dollars (US$95) a metric ton, up around 14% from September, according to market data provider AgriHQ.
In contrast, U.S. futures contracts for lumber—or planks of timber—fell sharply in the second half of last year. That drop was the result of a cooling U.S. housing market, slower construction activity as well as sharply lower U.S. wood exports to China. U.S. lumber prices have ticked higher this year, but are still down about 25% from May 2018.
New Zealand has been a big beneficiary of China’s construction and infrastructure projects. The pacific island nation exported $2.8 billion of logs and sawed products last year and about 70% went to the world’s second-largest economy.
Read more here.