Softwood timber sales – Structural ≤ 120

Although its leading position in softwood sales is threatened by the fast growing H2F Treated products, Structural <120 mm remains the mainstay of sales. For the year to end March 2015, reported sales increased a respectable 3.28% compared with the year to the end of March 2014. This growth compares with total softwood sales growth of 6.0% for the same period.

Growth in sales of H2F Treated was strongest of all softwood grades for the year to end March 2015, up 17.58% on the prior corresponding period. There is little doubt that there is substitution occurring, mainly at the expense of higher growth in Structural <120 mm.

The comparative growth for all grades of softwood are displayed in the chart below, which can be found on the FWPA Data Dashboard.

Fig - Comparative4

For Structural <120 mm, despite the modest growth in sales through 2014, the heights of the market are now a distant memory. In November 2007, annual sales peaked at a reported 1.400 Mkm3, almost double the current volume of 775.0 km3. 

H2F Treated entered the market almost simultaneously with the onset of the demand wrecking Global Financial Crisis. The combined effects saw sales of Structural <120 mm fall more or less continuously until November 2013. At that time, year-end sales totaled 729.2 km3. The decade’s sales experience is displayed in the following chart.

Fig - Structural Decade5

Since sales of Structural <120 mm bottomed in November 2013, the increase has been relatively modest and more or less half of that of all sales of softwood. Although it remains the largest grade of softwood sales, its share of the market is declining quickly. Half a decade ago, for the year to end March 2010, it accounted for 53.7% if total softwood sales. For the year to end March 2015, it accounted for just 27.6%. Meanwhile H2F Treated has grown its share to 16.6%. 

If the relative growth rates continue, H2F Treated will hold the largest share of softwood sales sometime in 2018. 

For further details, go to the FWPA Data Dashboard