A near 9% fall in the global sawlog price index was recorded in the first quarter, according to the latest report from Wood Resource Quarterly.
The biggest fall was experienced in Europe, with reduced global demand the primary reason. Prices for sawlogs fell in nearly all 20 countries covered in the index, with an 8.6% drop recorded year-on-year and a 3% fall from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Wood Resource Quarterly said reduced domestic demand for lumber, slowing markets in the Middle East and North Africa, and uncertainty over the near-term financial health of the EU all effected the market.
The downturn in sawlog trading follows four years of consecutive increases in traded volumes from 2008-2011.
Of the 10 largest softwood log-importing countries, China, Germany and Spain have reduced imports the most in 2012. Only Japan and South Koreas have increased imports of logs to supply their sawmills and plywood mills.