Over the past six months, we have witnessed continued demand for standing timber driven principally by high production within the sawmilling sector. With UK Sterling remaining relatively weak against the Swedish Krona and the Euro, opportunities for sawn wood export to the UK have been more limited than during previous periods and this, along with strong demand from the carcasing and fencing sector, has allowed UK sawmills to ramp up production quantities.
This in turn has increased the demand for all grades of Sawlogs and has helped maintain the upward movement of prices for standing timber. Such has been the recent demand for sales of good quality spruce, within the last couple of months we have seen prices beyond £40 per tonne standing being paid where the sale is in close proximity to the main market clusters.
Demand within the sawn palletwood market has mirrored that of the carcasing and fencing markets. With slightly better margins being achieved on the sawn fencing market throughout much of the summer, supplies of palletwood have been more limited in the marketplace and this resulted in moderate price increases in order to readdress the balance. However, as demand for sawn fencing now begins to slow for the winter period, more adequate supplies of sawn palletwood should begin to become available.
The market for industrial roundwood has moved from supply outstripping demand in the first half of the year to a position currently where supply and demand are much more in balance. At the start of the year, production outages at a number of the large industrial roundwood processors within the wood panel, paper and wood fuel sectors resulted in stocks within the forest building significantly. However, the second half of the year has seen demand for industrial roundwood increasing as these processing sectors maintained strong consistent levels of production.