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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2004) 49(3): 33–37
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Doulas-fir log prices - a comparison of recentOtago/Southland prices vs. historical US Pacific Northwest data

H. Heath

Douglas-fir log price information is not readily available in New Zealand. Long term price trends from the United States Pacific Northwest (PNW) have been regularly used for analysis of forest investments and valuations. Care has to be taken when assessing the PNW information because it is in a board foot measure that has a variable translation into New Zealand cubic metre prices dependent upon log diameter in particular. Falling log sizes in the PNW over the last 30 years means that the upwards trends seen in the US log price information ($US/MBF) are misleading. When translated into cubic metres, $US denominated, inflation adjusted prices (for log grades that are broadly comparable to Otago/ Southland grades) have trended down over the last 30 years. When converted into NZ$/m3, prices for PNW grades have shown a fairly flat overall trend but with considerable volatility. By comparison, Douglas-fir log prices in the Otago/ Southland wood supply region have been quite constant over the last 12 years.

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