Sawn softwood sales –2.9 million m3 YE July 2016

Sawn softwood sales –2.9 million m3 YE July 2016

In a continuation of the strong upwards trend of the first half of 2016, July saw yet another year-end record reached, with reported sales totaling 2.9 million m3, up 1.2% or 34,000 m3 for the year-ended June. More significantly, compared with a year earlier, reported sawn softwood sales for the year were 12.6% higher.

Obviously, sawn softwood sales numbers will be impacted by the number of domestic producers reporting into the series, as much as by the volume of actual sales. So, while the chart below shows very solid growth, it also shows that month-on-month sales have trended lower over the last six months, while the opposite was the case in the first half of 2015.

figa

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Without additional participants in the survey, the prospect is that reported sales may have plateaued, if not slowed altogether.

As anticipated, reported sales of termite treated timber (H2F) continue to grow at a very fast pace, totaling 678,700 m3 for the year-ended July 2016. Accounting for 23.2% of total reported sales, H2F continues to close in on the still dominant Structural <120mm, which held 25.2% of the market.

The grade chart below shows clearly that the once dominant Structural <120mm grade is in decline, with its sales falling by 1.1% year-ended July 2016, while its replacement product – H2F, saw sales grow a very large 28.7% over the same period.

figb

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Reported sales of other grades that have experienced growth over the year include Packaging (+9.2%) and Outdoor Domestic (+32.9%). Sales of other grades are reportedly down, perhaps signaling the end of the housing boom (and therefore the demand for sawn softwood) is, at best, not far away.