Global Sawmill Cost Benchmarking Report

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2018 Annual & 2019Q2

Comparisons of each country and region categorized by cost and revenue (in US$, Cdn$ and euros) per m3 and Mbf

FEA/WOOD MARKETS has been conducting global sawmill cost benchmarking since 2000 and is considered the leading source of accurate and insightful benchmarking data.

About this Report

Understanding regional and global competitiveness in terms of delivered log costs, sawmilling costs and delivered lumber prices is essential to a company’s business plan for its local, traditional (“national”) and export markets, as well as its competitiveness against imports. As world markets improve and sawmills begin to adjust capacity, it is more important than ever for timber and sawmill companies to understand the costs/margins within their industry and of their competitors — and the variances between producing regions.  FEA presents the ninth biannual GLOBAL TIMBER/SAWMILL/LUMBER COST BENCHMARKING REPORT • 2018 Annual & 2019Q2 covering more than 29 countries/regions on six continents based on cost/margin data collected from sawmills. Included are quarterly summaries of costs and revenues from 2017Q1 to 2019Q2 for key countries/regions.


A profile of the major sawn woodproducing regions in North America, Europe, Russia, the Southern Hemisphere and China.
Benchmarking of delivered sawlog and sawmilling costs, lumber yields, lumber and by-product revenues, and margins for more than 29 key countries or regions.
Includes full-year costs/revenues for 2018 and 2019Q2.


Quarterly cost trends — in new tables and graphs — from 2017Q1 to 2019Q2 for most countries/regions.

Delivered lumber costs to three key export markets:

U.S. South (from 10 exporting regions)

China (from 13 exporting regions)

Australia (from 10 exporting regions).

Impacts of U.S. duties on Canadian lumber costs.

Questions Addressed

Where are the low-cost lumber producers today, how is that changing, and how does it compare with previous years?
Will the highest-margin region in North America in 2018/2019 be Western Canada, the U.S. West or the U.S. South?
What is the impact of U.S. duties on Canadian costs delivered to the U.S. in 2019Q2?
What is the break-even price range for European suppliers to the U.S. market, and how do fluctuating currency-rate scenarios change the result?
What is the impact on European sawmills costs from beetle-killed timber?
Are mills in the Baltics and Eastern Europe still competitive?
How do Russian costs compare at current exchange rates?
Are the highest-cost producing regions still in the Southern Hemisphere, where some still have favourable margins?
How will China’s massive imports impact the log and lumber prices of importing countries/regions? What about Russia’s lowered delivered costs to China?
How does the diminishing, older mountain pine beetle-killed timber supply impact the B.C. Interior’s sawmilling costs?

Key Attributes

Unique strategic report presents cost details on the competitiveness of major production regions within the global timber, sawmill and lumber industries.
Log and sawmill manufacturing cost summaries presented by major producing country/region for “average” and “top-quartile” mills and by quarter starting from 2017.
Ranking of results to profile “best” or lowest-cost/highest-margin producing countries or regions in 2018 and 2019Q2.

Timber & Sawn Wood Cost Benchmarking Details

All costs are summarized on the same currency basis (e.g., US$/m3 net; US$/Mbf) for direct, relevant comparisons to other regions (for Europe, €/m3 will be included).
Timber costs include stumpage fees and logging/delivery costs to mills.
Sawmill cost details include direct costs (energy, operating and maintenance supplies), labor and all mill overhead costs, plus depreciation.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    1. Key Global/Regional Benchmarking Cost Trends: 2018 versus previous years
    2. Europe and Russia: Cost and Profitability Comparisons (annual 2018 & quarterly 2017Q1 to 2019Q2:
    1. Finland
    2. Sweden
    3. Germany
    4. Austria
    5. Czech Republic
    6. Estonia
    7. Latvia
    8. Lithuania
    9. Russia (Siberia, West, RFE)
  • North America: Cost and Profitability Comparisons
    1. U.S. Southeast
    2. U.S. South Central
    3. U.S. Southwest
    4. U.S. Inland
    5. U.S. West — Oregon
    6. U.S. West — Washington
    7. B.C. Coast
    8. B.C. Interior
    9. Prairie Region
    10. Eastern Canada — Ontario
    11. Eastern Canada — Quebec
    12. Eastern Canada — Atlantic
  • Southern Hemisphere: Cost and Profitability Comparisons
    1. New Zealand
    2. Australia
    3. Chile
    4. Brazil
    5. South Africa
    6. China: Cost and Profitability Comparisons
  • Appendices
    1. Cost Details (spreadsheets) by Region in US$/m3, Cdn$/m3, Euro/m3, US$/Mbf and Cdn$/Mbf
    2. Assessment of Delivered Lumber Costs by Producing Region/Country to the U.S. South, China and Australia, including the impact of U.S. duties on Canadian exports

Key Features — Timber, sawmill and lumber benchmarking by country, covering:

  • Logging to roadside and hauling to mill
  • Stumpage/return to landowner
  • Delivered log costs
  • Logs to lumber costs and recoveries/yields
  • Sawmill costs (labour/direct/indirect)
  • Lumber and by-product revenue
  • Margins: Pre-tax profit (EBITDA)
  • Margins: After-depreciation allowance (EBIT)
  • Breakdown of mill costs and summarized by “average” and “top-quartile” mill for regions/countries
  • Comparison of mill costs/margins
  • Manufacturing and log trends/issues
  • Delivered lumber costs to three key markets

For subscription rates, please contact David Battaglia, VP Sales and Marketing, FEA LLC, by phone at (+1) 770-265-7150 (cell) or (+1) 978-496-6338 (office), or via email at