Forestry Statistics 2009 - Finance & Prices

Timber prices

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The Forestry Commission has collected information for many years on the prices of conifers sold standing by the FC and publishes a Coniferous Standing Sales Price Index (CSSPI) every 6 months for overlapping 12 month periods. A softwood sawlog price index, providing information for 6-month periods on prices (delivered to roadside), of coniferous sawlogs produced by the Forestry Commission, is also published. Both series are published in Timber Price Indices on the Forestry Commission website. There is little other information on wood prices before primary processing and no price index is available for broadleaves. Prices for outputs of primary wood processing are collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the Producer Price Indices (PPIs), and these are available in the MM22 Business Monitor which gives detailed PPIs monthly.

The coniferous standing sales price index for Great Britain was 30% lower in real terms in the year to March 2009, compared with the previous year. The softwood sawlog price index was 28% lower in real terms in the 6 months to March 2008, compared with the corresponding period in the previous year.

Table 8.1 Coniferous standing sales and sawlog price indices1 for Great Britain, 2000-2008

Period ending March

Standing sales2

Sawlogs

Nominal terms3

Real terms4

Nominal terms3

Real terms4

index (period to September 2006 = 100)

2000

121.6142.0118.2138.6

2001

110.2

126.9

115.0

132.7

2002

105.4

118.8

106.2119.5

2003

81.388.8102.6112.0

2004

79.684.599.0105.3

2005

86.989.8105.2108.6

2006

100.0101.3100.5101.8

2007

111.0109.4113.6111.8

2008

173.8166.5133.0127.4

2009

124.2116.398.191.8

Source: Timber Price Indices (data to March 2009)

Notes:

1. The price indices are constructed from information on Forestry Commission sales only.

2. Until November 2008 the Laspeyres method was used to calculate the standing sales index to take account of the size mix. Since then the Fischer method with 5 year chain linking has also been adopted and will eventually supercede the Laspeyres method after a period of transistion.

3. Nominal prices are the actual prices at that point in time.

4. Real terms values are obtained by using the GDP deflator to convert to 'constant prices' (in this case prices in 2006). This allows trends in timber prices to be tracked without the influence of inflation.

Figure 8.1 Coniferous standing sales and sawlog price indices1 in real terms2, 1984-2009

Source: Timber Price Indices (data to March 2009)

Notes:

1. The price indices are constructed from information on Forestry Commission sales only.

2. Until November 2008 the Laspeyres method was used to calculate the standing sales index to take account of the size mix. Since then the Fischer method with 5 year chain linking has also been adopted and will eventually supercede the Laspeyres method after a period of transistion.

3. Real terms values are obtained by using the GDP deflator to convert to 'constant prices' (in this case prices in 2006). This allows trends in timber prices to be tracked without the influence of inflation.

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