Pulpwood Price Indices

Pulpwood Price Indices

The cost of wood fiber is the factor that most often determines the competitiveness of a pulp manufacturing plant and it is also the input cost that fluctuates the most over time. Worldwide, these costs currently vary between 45-72% of the total cash cost depending on product grade and the costs of other components such as chemicals, energy and labor. In 2019, the worldwide average cost of wood as a percentage of total manufacturing cost was approximately 61%, according to Fisher International. The countries with the lowest wood cost component included Germany, Eastern Canada and New Zealand, while Japan, China, Indonesia and Spain have had the highest wood cost percentages.

Understanding how important it is to measure wood fiber price trends worldwide, WRI developed two price indices with data collection which started in 1988. The Global Wood Fiber Price Indices are derived from wood fiber prices for the pulp industry in 17 regions tracked by the publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). These regions together account for 85-90% of the world’s wood-based pulp production capacity. The price indices are calculated using quarterly wood fiber prices and estimated country/regional wood fiber consumption data.

The Global Wood Fiber Indices include data from the following regions:

  • North America - Western Canada, Eastern Canada, US Northwest and US South)
  • South America - Brazil and Chile
  • Europe – Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Russia, Spain and Sweden
  • Asia/Oceania – Australia, Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand

The Global Softwood Wood Fiber Index (SFPI) predominantly includes countries with natural conifer species in the Northern Hemisphere, while the Global Hardwood Wood Fiber Index (HFPI) consists of wood fiber prices in non-conifer plantation forests (mainly Eucalyptus and Acacia). The Indices are calculated in nominal US dollars per oven-dried metric ton (odmt) of wood fiber.

The Global Wood Fiber Indices have fluctuated substantially over the past 32 years, with the following highlights:

Softwood (SFPI) Hardwood (HFPI)
Initial Index (1Q/1988) $84.95 $76.64
Record low $66.18 (1Q/02) $65.52 (4Q/01)
Record high $112.53 (2Q/08) $117.91 (3Q/11)
Average, 2016 $87.84 $86.31
Average, 2017 $86.85 $88.38
Average, 2018 $91.93 $89.85
Average, 2019 $91.0 $91.0

For the most current Wood Fiber Price Indices, please consult the latest issue of the WRQ.