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Alternative Market Briefing

Now is a good time to invest in timber as long term outlook is strong

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Dr. Jacek Siry recently spoke to Sona Blessing on Opalesque Radio about how to optimise returns on timber investment given the imminent supply side shock posed by Canadian timberland. He serves as Associate Professor of Forest Economics at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

"Canada has had for many years a very prominent role in wood supply in the global market," Dr. Siry told Opalesque Radio. The country currently harvests around 100,000 million cubic meters a year, and the prices are not always cheap due to deliveries being done from far-away regions. Conifer fibre prices in the U.S are the cheapest at below $75 per dry metric tonne, whereas in Canada, it is around $100, he added. However, Canadian prices are still competitive compared to other regions.

But Canada is struggling with the mountain pine beetle. "They’re trying to salvage as much wood as possible," he said. He thinks the situation will resolve itself in the next few years but that output from Canada will decline, and "this will exert output pressure on timberland prices."

As the WSJ reported last October, the tiny mountain pine beetle, a tree-killing insect, has been the cause of huge problems for lumber producers in the U.S. and C......................

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