The forest products industry is complex and hyper-changeable. To successfully play in this universe, you need advice, data, and an overview from an unbiased, details-obsessed, independent source. Economic forecasts, lumber, timber, panels, mass timber and engineered wood products – this is FEA.
If a tree falls in the forest, we not only hear it – we follow it, analyze it and track it.
Whatever’s happening along the forest supply chain, from planting to felling to final use, we’re watching it, regionally, nationally, internationally. FEA people seek out every forestry detail, are obsessed with economics, trends and providing clients with deeply-rooted advice that informs their important decisions.
Why we’re here
We formed FEA when we recognized a need in the industry for impartial, exhaustive analysis, accessible data and customized consulting. FEA analysts come from all areas of the timber industry – when they talk, industry listens.
FEA markets our knowledge and data through analytical products that cover the forest product industry. These include Monthly Advisors and newsletters for near-term analysis, the Quarterly Forecasting Service for a longer-term outlook and an extensive historical database, as well as the industry's only comprehensive, up-to-date, mill-level capacity reports, categorized by sector.
Alberta announced on Thursday that it has renewed the forest management agreement held by Weyerhaeuser for the next 20-years in exchange for important stewardship responsibilities. These agreements establish the company’s right to grow and harvest Crown timber from forest management units near Grande Prairie and Drayton Valley.
The Fort Nelson First Nation and local politicians have been trying to pull themselves out of a 15-year regional recession by revitalizing the region’s forest industry, which was shut down in 2008 when Canfor Corp closed its plywood and OSB mills. Those closures were proceeded by the shuttering of the Tackama sawmill in 2005.
On Thursday, Stora Enso and EcoTelligent Oy jointly announced a collaboration that will establish mass timber as the material of choice for telecommunication support structures. The partnership is set to provide an alternative that will reduce the dependency on steel and concrete in telecom masts.
CME Group Inc. plans to replace its lumber futures contract with a smaller version that will be deliverable to Chicago rather than Western Canada, following two volatile years that lifted prices to record highs. This new truckload-size contract will be a quarter the volume of the current lumber futures, and is designed to attract more buyers and sellers to the market. The new physically delivered futures and accompanying options contracts are set to launch Aug. 8, pending regulatory approval from Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Sanctions on Russia, including the ban on using the SWIFT money transfer system, will severely limit its ability to participate in international trade, but the impacts to its softwood log and lumber trade are likely to be less affected than other industries.
Over half of Russia’s softwood lumber trade and three-quarters of its softwood log trade is with China (graphs below). China has not imposed sanctions on Russia and has payment systems independent from the SWIFT system. Only ocean shipments from St. Petersburg, which account for around 25% of China’s total volume from Russia, are traded with letters of credit based in US dollars. Some contracts have already been changed to Chinese RMB payments, however trade from Northwest Russia is likely to suffer some in the coming months.
Over the 15 months—since North America’s economies hit their pandemic-induced bottoms—much discussion in the wood products industry has centred on access to employees. Producers of solid wood products were particularly challenged to meet the demand from builders and DIYers, resulting in record-high prices for finished goods. Of course, 2020 was not just the year of the pandemic: It also saw a record number of hurricanes in the South, record fires in the West, and social unrest nationwide. What a year!
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